Vitamin E is an essential nutrient, that protects cells from oxidative stress, and which cannot be made by the body. Oxidative stress results from the overproduction of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells, and con-tributes to the development of chronic dis-ease. The term vitamin E refers to a family of eight closely related compounds: four tocotrienols (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocotrienol) and four tocopherols (alpha-, beta-, delta-, and gamma-tocopherol). Figure 1 shows the molecular structures for tocotrienol and tocopherol, which are quite similar in that they both consist of a chromanol ring and a phytyl side chain. The
Welcome back to Part Two of our smart consumer’s guide series! In Part One we wanted to shed some light on what constitutes good research and in part two today we will be discussing what that means when you are buying healthcare products.
So let’s get to it!
What should I be asking?
Going through all of the points in our last article may be unrealistic for the average consumer, so many consumers invest in companies who they trust. Here are some quick questions to ask before placing your trust, and money, into a company.
1. Do they use clean and reliable sources for their products? Raw materials come from all over the world, so it’s important to know what the companies’ standards for testing raw material quality are. Regulatory bodies often have their own standards that companies must adhere to, and some companies go beyond that to ensure the product meets their standards
2. Do they use the active forms of ingredients at the right dosage? Generally, you will get the best results if you are adding the active form of an ingredient, because it is easy for your body to use. If a company backs their claims with research, it is reasonable to expect that they are matching the dosage in their products, to the dosages used in the research studies.
3. Do they use the lowest possible amount of fillers? Some non-medicinal ingredients, or NMI’s, are necessary, and you can review a list of them in our series linked below; however companies should do their best to minimize NMI’s.
4. Do they use innovative delivery methods, or new technology to ensure that your body can make the best use of the products you’re paying for? For example, some products are better absorbed when paired with a fat, and maybe be best in an oil based softgel.
5. Does this company bring novel products to the market? New products mean they are keeping up with the dynamic, and ever growing, field of nutraceutical research. Bonus points if the company is actually actively participating in promoting strong research practices.
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