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How vitamin E supplementation can contribute to vitamin E deficiency
'The' problem with vitamin E supplementation in large doses is that there are a. multiple forms of vitamin E, b. supplements usually only contain a specific form of vitamin E and c. that particular form displaces other vitamin E variants. As a result, over-enthusiastic vitamin E supplementation can thus deprive the body of vitamin E. By accident, today we stumbled upon the study that showed this paradoxical effect.
This supplement contained 1200 units of alpha-tocopherol. The researchers used a synthetic and racemic form of alpha-tocopherol.
You have tocopherols in different shapes and sizes. You have alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocopherol. Good sources of alpha-tocopherol are sunflower seeds and oil, but they contain hardly any gamma-tocopherol. Gamma-tocopherol is found in sesame seeds, nuts and linseed.
Other vitamin E analogues are alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienol, but we will leave these aside for now.
Below you can see analyzes of the blood of a random participant. Supplementation with alpha-tocopherol reduced the concentration of gamma-tocopherol, but had no effect on the concentration of the beta and delta analogues.
This explains why in many studies in which subjects were given high doses of vitamin E - read: synthetic alpha-tocopherol - for a long time, there are no positive effects on health.