What are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are generally classified into two broad categories: water-soluble (hydrophilic) and fat-soluble (hydrophobic).
Your body needs both water- and fat-soluble antioxidants because each one targets different types of cells and tissues for free radical scavenging.
- Water-soluble antioxidants – These are present in aqueous fluids, such as blood and intracellular and extracellular fluids. They react with oxidants in the cell cytosol (fluid portion of cytoplasm) and blood plasma. Examples of water-soluble antioxidants include vitamin C, glutathione, and catechins.
- Lipid-soluble antioxidants – These are localised to your cell membranes and lipoproteins. They protect your cell membranes from fat peroxidation. Examples of fat-soluble antioxidants include vitamins E, A, and astaxanthin.
The bottom line: to fight and help neutralise free radicals, you need a blend of both types of antioxidants from as many sources as possible. When taken together, the efficacy of water- and fat-soluble antioxidants is enhanced even more.
And when it comes to fat-soluble antioxidants, Dr Mercola believes vitamin E is very important in your daily dietary regimen.
Why a Balance of All Eight Nutrients Is Key
Remember natural and organic ingredients need to be closely scrutinised when considering any supplement.
There's also another key factor that must be considered. And that is: how do the ingredients within a formula react with one another? How well-balanced is the formula to help you benefit the most?
When it comes to natural vitamin E, you may remember that there's more than one compound other than just alpha-tocopherol. There are a total of eight natural compounds; more specifically:
- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta
- Alpha, Beta, Gamma, and Delta
If you're serious about supplementing with vitamin E and avoiding synthetic formulas, it is vital to get a balance of all eight nutrients in a vitamin E supplement you take to complement your healthy diet.
Unfortunately, the majority of research studies and supplement manufacturers have only focused on alpha-tocopherol. This means that many have totally missed the boat on the importance of a balanced vitamin E formula.
If a vitamin E supplement only contains alpha-tocopherol (synthetic or natural), there's another major issue. If high levels of alpha-tocopherol flood your system, they can potentially deplete the other tocopherols and tocotrienols from your body.
How Tocotrienols Could Give Your Health a Boost
With tocotrienols, the challenge is that despite potentially healthful benefits, scientific literature on these compounds only accounts for roughly 1% of the total vitamin E literature.
But despite all that, the scientific community has started to wake-up to the potential benefits of tocotrienols. Here are just a few examples of potential healthful benefits and why I made sure tocotrienols were included in my Vitamin E formula.
Tocotrienols (alpha, beta, delta, and gamma) potentially:
- Help support normal cholesterol levels
- Protect against free radical damage and the normal effects of ageing
- Promote brain health (in combination with tocopherols)
With all four of the tocotrienol nutrients in Dr Mercola's Vitamin E supplement, you can be assured this formula is one of the best you can find.
There are plenty of vitamin E supplements on the market, however the vast majority of them use soy as their source of vitamin E.
So when looking for a good alternative, Dr Mercola wanted to not only avoid soy but also wanted to make sure whatever natural source of vitamin E was used was not genetically engineered (GE). That’s why they decided to use sunflowers for the source of vitamin E. They are an excellent natural source of vitamin E.