The Best Kind Of Vitamin E For Your Heart

the-best-kind-of-vitamin-e-for-your-heart_300Not all vitamin E is created equal. According to research at Ohio State, one particular variety may be significantly more helpful for your heart health than others.

In general, natural vitamin E is more efficiently used by the body than synthetic. Natural forms are the d-tocopherols. Synthetics are designated dl-tocopherols. And if you are a smoker giving up smoking, the Ohio State study shows that the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E has the biggest benefit for cardiovascular wellness.

In the research, scientists measured blood markers of inflammation and blood vessel function before and after smokers gave up smoking. After a week of no smoking, ex-smokers experienced an increase in their vascular function that averaged 2.8 percent. Those who quit smoking and also took the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E had a 1.5 percent additional improvement in vascular function.

While that difference may seem to be small, other studies show that every 1 percent increase in vascular function (an improvement in a blood vessel’s ability to dilate) confers a 13 percent reduction in the risk of developing heart disease later in life.

“This is a very short-term study that shows very promising effects,” says researcher Richard Bruno. “The underlying rationale is that we know it takes many years before the risk for cardiovascular disease of a former smoker matches that of a nonsmoker. We hope to develop a therapy to combine with smoking cessation that could accelerate the restoration of vascular function and reduce cardiovascular risk.”

Food sources of gamma tocopherol include vegetable oils and nuts like pistachios, pecans, cashews and peanuts.

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Carl Lowe

By Carl Lowe

has written about health, fitness and nutrition for a wide range of publications including Prevention Magazine, Self Magazine and Time-Life Books. The author of more than a dozen books, he has been gluten-free since 2007.