You might want to give the label on your vitamin E bottle a closer look following a recent report stating that natural-source vitamin E supplements are twice as potent as synthetic ones. More specifically, look for labels that say d-alpha tocopherol to make sure it's natural. Synthetic vitamin E is labeled as dl-alpha-tocopherol.
The report released in April by the Antioxidant Panel of the Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Sciences (NAS) based its recommendations on the fact that synthetic vitamin E, made from petroleum chemicals, contains substances the body does not recognize as vitamin E. Natural-source vitamin E, purified from plant sources, is fully recognized and utilized by the body, and has 100 percent vitamin E activity.
The NAS panel also increased the recommended daily allowance (RDA) to 15 mg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (the natural form which is the basis for the new RDA's) per day for both men and women. This means the RDA for vitamin E increased 50% for men (from 10 mg to 15 mg) and nearly 100% for women (from 8 mg to 15 mg). The increase was made as a result of mounting evidence that vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant with significant health benefits. Many experts in the field of antioxidants recommend that consumers take 100 to 400 IU daily of natural-source vitamin E to obtain the protection and benefits found in the research. The report also set a new upper intake level (UL) of 1,000 milligrams daily, or the equivalent of about 1,500 IU of natural-source vitamin E or 1,100 IU of synthetic vitamin E.
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