The Whole View, Season 3 Ep 33: Benefits of Vitamin E w/ Dr. Barrie Tan

Welcome Dr. Barrie Tan to the Whole View! This week, Stacy and Dr. Tan dive deep into Vitamin E, what it does, how it works, and the science behind the benefits of Vitamin E for the human body. Dr. Barrie Tan is a trailblazer and foremost expert on Vitamin E, credited with discovering a form of  Vitamin E called tocotrienol. He shares his years of experience to bridge the gap between science and health to help listeners better understand the ins and outs of Vitamin E!

Find Dr. Tan: 

Dr. Tan would like to offer a copy of his eBook “The Truth About Vitamin E” to listeners for free. Visit barrietan.com/book/ and enter code The Whole View!

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Key Takeaways

Introductions

  • Dr. Barrie Tan is hailed as the world’s foremost expert on Vitamin E. A scientist first and foremost, Dr. Tan earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry and Biochemistry from the University of Otago, New Zealand and spent several years as a professor at UMass.
  • Dr. Tan has committed himself to the research and development of phytonutrients that reduce and slow chronic disorders. He has held roles of Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Board Member for multinational organizations.
  • Additionally, his career includes periods working in association with the US Armed Forces and a Prince of Thailand.

Health Benefits of Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is shown to reduce markers of oxidative stress and improve antioxidant defenses. A 2021 study also showed that supplementing with a combination of Vitamin E and Vitamin C daily for 8 weeks reduced markers of oxidative stress, such as malondialdehyde and ROS, in women with endometriosis. [source]
  • Furthermore, it may improve bone health and have protective anti-aging effect. Research in middle-aged and elderly humans suggests that tocotrienols have a potential beneficial anti-ageing action with respect to cognitive impairment and DNA damage. Also, tocotrienol supplementation helps reduce bone loss in postmenopausal osteopenic women by suppressing inflammation and oxidative stress [source].
  • Vitamin E can support cardiovascular health and may reduce heart disease risk factors. Studies show reduced systolic blood pressure and when combined, omega-3 and Vitamin E co-supplementation significantly reduced the serum concentrations of TG and LDL and increased “good” cholesterol to reduce risk of heart disease [source]Also, Vitamin E quinone has anti clotting benefits, as a potent inhibitor of the vitamin K-dependent carboxylase that controls blood clotting.
  • Benefits of Vitamin E may include improving liver health and benefit those with liver disease (NAFLD). A meta analysis showed that Vitamin E reduced the values of liver enzymes compared with placebo Vitamin E improved statistically significantly liver pathology in every individual histological parameter as well as low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, fasting blood glucose, and serum leptin values. [source]
  • Additionally, Vitamin E is also great for boosting the immune system, along with Zinc and Vitamin C.

Liver Health & Menstruation Studies

  • A 2022 study was recently published showing that when comparing tocotrienol to tocopherol in those with NAFLD, better results were seen in those taking tocotrienol supplementation. δ-tocotrienol and α-tocopherol exerted equally beneficial effects in terms of improvement in hepatic steatosis, oxidative stress, and insulin resistance in patients with NAFLD. However, δ-tocotrienol was more potent than α-tocopherol in reducing body weight, inflammation, and apoptosis associated with NAFLD. [source]
  • In a 2018 study in 100 women with dysmenorrhea, taking 200 IU of Vitamin E daily relieved menstrual pain more than a placebo. The effects were even better when the vitamin was combined with an omega-3 supplement containing 180 mg of EPA and 120 mg of DHA. [source]

Cognitive Benefits of Vitamin E

  • Benefits of Vitamin E may include cognitive health. Maintaining optimal vitamin E levels and taking supplements may help protect against cognitive decline. However, it’s still unclear whether the supplements benefit people with cognitive conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Furthermore, Vitamin E has been proposed as a potential clinical intervention for Alzheimer’s disease (AD) given the plausibility of its various biological functions in influencing the neurodegenerative processes associated with the condition. The tocopherol and tocotrienol isoforms of Vitamin E have multiple properties including potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory characteristics, in addition to influences on immune function, cellular signaling and lowering cholesterol. [source]
  • Additionally, reduced plasma levels have furthermore been associated with an increased risk of AD development while intake, particularly from dietary sources, may limit or reduce the rate of disease progression.

Topics Discussed 

  • Several factors influence individual responsiveness to Vitamin E intake and recent findings suggest variation in the underlying genetic architecture attenuates Vitamin E biological availability and activity. This likely contributes to the variation in clinical responsiveness and the failure of randomized trials to date. [source]
  • Vitamin E has the ability to protect cells from free radical damage and reduce the production of free radicals. Future human cancer prevention trials with pure δ-T or γ-T could be very interesting. The biological effects of δ-T have not been studied sufficiently. [source]
  • Vitamin E supplements may  also be helpful for those with certain skin disorders, such as dermatitis and eczema. Furthermore, Stacy included a full list recommended products and Beautycounter items containing Vitamin E here.  Specifically of interest are the Countersun and Lotus Glow Cleansing Balm, which her child with eczema loved and swore by. 
  • In fact this is one reason why a skin nourishing product with skin superfoods infused in the ingredients is a better option than just a singular oil or fat, like coconut or petroleum jelly, which are often recommended but do not have the benefits of a nutrient-rich product. [source]
  • Finally, to improve health and slow chronic disorders as it relates to Vitamin E, Dr. Tan recommends:
    1. Tocotrienol supplementation
    2. Sleep 
    3. Movement, daily walks 
    4. Reduce carbohydrate intake and increase plants and beans
    5. Be kind to others and yourself

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Studies & Sources

References & Products

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Note: Stacy and her guests are not medical professionals. This podcast is for general educational purposes and NOT intended to diagnose, advise, or treat any physical or mental illness. We always recommend you consult a licensed service provider.

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