Authorities’ have told us for decades that vitamin E isn’t proven to do much of anything, and in fact may be dangerous. Remember the infamous ‘vitamin E raises your risk of heart problems’ study? Newspapers, radio, television, and even ‘science writers’ – who should study the facts and know better – were drumming up fear over vitamin E for months. These so-called ‘authorities’ and all those reporters overlooked a basic scientific fact. The so-called vitamin E that was used in all the ‘vitamin E is dangerous’ research wasn’t really vitamin E as found in nature!
Thankfully, a new generation of researchers appears to be starting over again. This time they’re using real vitamin E, which is a mixture of alpha, beta, delta and gamma tocopherols as it is actually found in nature. Not surprisingly, what they’ve found so far is proof that all of that ‘vitamin E is dangerous’ research – which used alpha-tocopherol alone – needs to be thrown into the nearest rubbish bin. All of the research needs to be done over again with nature’s version of vitamin E, the ‘mixed tocopherols’.
These ‘copy nature’ researchers wrote: “Although the antioxidant and anticancer activities of α-tocopherol (vitamin E) have been studied for decades, recent intervention studies with α-tocopherol have been negative for protection from cancer in humans. The tocopherols consist of 4 isoforms, α, β, γ and δ variants… we investigated the inhibitory effect of a tocopherol mixture rich in γ- and δ-tocopherols against mammary tumourigenesis.”1 (For the technically un-inclined, ‘mammary tumourigenesis’ is ‘causing breast cancer’.) What a concept! Makes sense to study vitamin E as it actually exists, no?
The research summary went on: “Dietary administration of 0.1%, 0.3%, or 0.5% mixed tocopherols suppressed mammary tumour growth by 38%, 50%, or 80%, respectively. Our… study found that γ- and δ-tocopherols, but not α-tocopherol, activated PPAR-γ and antagonised oestrogen action in breast cancer”.
Antagonising oestrogen action in breast cancer, as the researchers found that the mixed-tocopherol vitamin E did, is the goal of many patent medicines used in the treatment of breast cancer, all of which have a variety of possible toxic side effects. Nature’s version of vitamin E – mixed tocopherols – have no known adverse effects.
Hmmm… any idea why the concept of mixed tocopherols slowing breast cancer growth hasn’t made the news and been distributed to every woman with breast cancer, or ‘walking for the cure’?
The researchers also cited some highly technical ‘mechanisms of action,’ writing: “Mixed tocopherols increased the expression of p21, p27, caspase-3 and peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPAR-γ), and inhibited AKT and oestrogen signalling in mammary tumours”… and reached a second conclusion: “The results suggest that γ- and δ-tocopherols may be effective agents for the prevention of breast cancer.”
It appears that nature’s vitamin E – mixed tocopherols – doesn’t just slow breast cancer growth, it may help prevent breast cancer, too!
While it’s true that this research was done with experimental animals – as it can’t be ethically done in humans – it’s highly likely that it applies to humans.
For decades ‘authorities’ have told us that vitamin E isn’t proven to do much of anything, and in fact may be dangerous. This relatively new research reveals that these ‘authorities’ have been researching an incomplete form of vitamin E for decades!
Don’t expect any apologies soon.
Wishing you the best of health,
Dr. Jonathan V. Wright
Nutrition & Healing
Volume 6, Issue 11 – November 2012
Full references and citations for this article are available in the downloadable PDF version of the monthly Nutrition and Healing issue in which this article appears.