Have you ever heard of Alpha-tocopherol? If you have not you should because Alpha-tocopherol is very important to your staying healthy while those around you are suffering from various maladies.
What is Alpha-tocopherol?
In short, you probably know Alpha-Tocopherol as vitamin E. But that really doesn’t tell the whole story.
Alpha-Tocopherol is the most robust of many different types of tocopherol that, together, science identifies as vitamin E. In nature, tocopherols are found in a wide variety of foods. Some of the foods contain the alpha-tocopherol while others have only gamma-tocopherol. This is a weaker cousin of the alpha substance. But, good news! It turns out that our bodies are clever enough to change the gamma stuff enough to derive the same results as from the alpha!
Why is this important?
All the substances that are the vitamin E family are antioxidants. Antioxidants are important to us because they are a big help in combating a number of conditions we would rather not have like heart disease and cancer.
How much do we need?
The Food and Drug Administration types recommend 15 milligrams daily for guys and girls who aren’t breast feeding. For those ladies who are, the RDA (recommended dietary allowance) is 19 milligrams daily. These RDA numbers were increased in 2000 because of studies showing that most diets were deficient in vitamin E. One estimate is that over 90% of our diets need help (and probably with more than vitamin E but that’s another piece).
Where can I get Alpha-tocopherol?
Supplements of course but those are problematic at best. Because the FDA does not regulate the supplement industry (which is already huge and getting bigger) at least on study indicated that you stand a one in five (20%) chance of actually getting what the package says you are buying. If you do insist on going the supplement route buy from a trusted source that is in GMP compliance. Read on about GMP compliance at their home page.
If, on the other hand, you would prefer to get your vitamin E compounds from natural sources you are in luck. As we talked about earlier, vitamin E is found in a number of places including:
• Fortified Cereals
• Nuts (like hazelnuts and peanuts, but watch the calories!)
• Vegetable Oil
• Wheat Germ
Certainly many of these are very tasty ingredients in many types of smoothie recipes which provide yet another reason why smoothies deserve to be part of your diet.
As if you needed another reason.