Vitamin E

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Updated: 4/11/2007 2:47 pm
Vitamin E was discovered in the 1920's and is the name for a group of eight fat-soluble compounds called the tocopherols (toe-KAH-fer-uls), of which D-Alpha tocopherol has the most value to humans as an antioxidant. Oxygen molecules called 'free radicals' move through the blood system and destroy cells. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps prevent the oxidation of L-D-L cholesterol, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C by free radicals, thus helping prevent heart disease and certain cancers. Vitamin E also may help prevent premature aging because free radicals also destroy connective tissues that keep the skin firm. In addition, the vitamin stabilizes cell membranes and protects the cells and tissues from damage. It's naturally present in whole grains, seeds, lettuce, avocados, peaches, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, and dried prunes. Doctors differ in opinion as to whether natural Vitamin E supplements are better than synthetic ones. For more information, contact a healthcare professional.

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