The term “vitamin E” refers to a family of eight related, lipid-soluble, antioxidant compounds widely present in plants. The tocopherol and tocotrienol subfamilies are each composed of alpha, beta, gamma, and delta fractions having unique biological effects. Different ratios of these compounds are found in different parts of a plant. For example, the green parts of a plant contain mostly alpha tocopherol and the seed germ and bran contain mostly tocotrienols. Along with other nutrients, tocopherols and tocotrienols are concentrated in the bran layers of the rye grain, and are only present at low levels in the flour endosperm. Tocopherols are also present in algae, mint teas, and other foods.102-105
According to a University of California study, alpha tocopherol (regular vitamin E) displaces critically important gamma tocopherol in the body. While alpha tocopherol inhibits free radical production, gamma tocopherol is required to trap and neutralize existing free radicals.134
Prestigious scientific journals have highlighted gamma tocopherol as one of the most critically important forms of vitamin E for those seeking optimal health benefits. In fact, studies show the combination of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol supplementation appears to be superior to either supplementation alone on biomarkers of oxidative stress and on inflammatory factors.135,136
Most commercial vitamin E supplements contain little, if any, gamma tocopherol. They instead rely on alpha tocopherol as the primary ingredient. However, it is gamma tocopherol (not the alpha form) that quenches peroxynitrite, the free radical that plays a major role in the development of age-related decline.137
Sesame Lignans: The Natural Vitamin E Booster
Life Extension has uncovered research suggesting that adding sesame lignans to gamma tocopherol may significantly enhance its beneficial effects.138-140 Sesame and its lignans have been shown to boost antioxidative activity in the tissues by elevating the levels of two antioxidative vitamins, vitamin C and E.141
In a human study that combined gamma tocopherol with sesame lignans, gamma tocopherol/sesame was 25% more effective than gamma tocopherol/tocotrienols in suppressing tissue measurements for free radical and inflammatory damage.142 Since tocotrienols are considered nature’s most potent antioxidants, the fact that low-cost gamma tocopherol with sesame is more effective is a remarkable finding.
Life Extension has fortified the popular Gamma E Tocopherol supplement with standardized sesame lignans. Consumers obtain superior benefits at a much lower cost. This formula provides potent doses of gamma tocopherol along with sesame lignan extract to augment the antioxidant effects of gamma tocopherol.