Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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64 INSIDER March/April 2018 64 INSIDER March/April 2018 Vitamin E is a group of eight fat-soluble, antioxidant tocopherol and tocotrienol compounds that play important roles in many of the body's biological functions. Supplemental vitamin E health benefi ts have focused on the bioavailability differences between the two types: natural form d-alpha-tocopherol and synthetic form dl-alpha-tocopherol. Tamara Rausch, Europe product manager, Lycored, explained that the spectrum of compounds in natural vitamin E are responsible for different effects on the body's cellular level, therefore combining different health benefi ts. "When it comes to a synthetic vitamin E supplement, depending on which one you might take, of course, you might end up having only one of the eight compounds available, which could lead to a compromise in terms of the full health potential of vitamin E," she said. "Many clinical studies evaluating vitamin E have only observed results using synthetic vitamin E and the single compound alpha-tocopherol, and often ignored the other seven health-boosting compounds that are found in natural vitamin E." While the lower cost of synthetic vitamin E may be appealing to some manufacturers, Steve O'Brien, technical director, Nutralliance, warned that bioavailability concerns should supersede price. "It's important to recognize that the decades-old standard of comparison is changing, and FDA will now recognize that natural E has twice the bioavailabilty of synthetic," 1 he said, additionally pointing to the "questionable health effects of the inactive S-isomers found only in synthetic" vitamin E. Oral bioavailability of tocotrienol is also erratic by nature, said Bryan See, business development manager, ExcelVite. "While improved absorption can be achieved by consuming oily food prior to taking any oil-soluble vitamin, the level of tocotrienol absorption is inconsistently dependent on the amount and type of fat consumed," he said. "The formulation challenge with tocotrienol lies in the need to ensure consistent and high absorption so that consumers really receive the optimal level of tocotrienols that show benefi ts in research," See said. "Hence, the current trend in the industry is moving toward 'bioavailability,' i.e., absorption into the blood plasma." The emphasis on bioavailability, in relation to health and lifestyle conditions, has led to increased focus on the dosing guidance for populations that fall within certain health parameters. "New research published in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed the estimated one-third of Americans who have a cluster of health problems that add up to metabolic syndrome don't absorb dietary vitamin E as effectively as healthy people," 2 Rausch said. "The results of this study also show that at least one-third of Americans have higher vitamin E requirements than healthy people. "The recommended daily intake is 15 mg, and most Americans consume about half that amount," she continued. "It can be concluded that obese people need more vitamin E, but actually get less." 3 See pointed to the negative, large, human clinical result on synthetic vitamin E, 4 which garnered bad press and lessened the demand for both products with synthetic vitamin E and high-IU (international units) vitamin E products. Targeted Research Vitamin E's most researched and reported health benefi ts have traditionally fallen within the realm of cardiovascular and metabolic health, thanks to its antioxidant ability for combatting infl ammation and inhibiting platelet aggregation. However, it has also demonstrated positive effects for bone, 5 skin 6 and eye health, 7 and has recently shown potential in the fi eld of cognitive decline, specifi cally with Alzheimer's disease. Vitamin E's positive effect on cognitive health is a well-researched scope of potential. Clinical trials, funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), on vitamin E tocotrienols' effect on various aspects of neurocognitive health have been ongoing for nearly 20 years. "Recent published data from Karolinska Institute in Stockholm show that [of] all vitamin E forms (tocopherols and tocotrienols), especially Vitamin E Some research indicates natural forms of vitamin E may impart more health benefits and be more bioavailable than synthetic forms. Vitamin E's brain benefits are well-researched, with a recent study promoting healthy cognitive function in the elderly. Tocotrienols have shown promise in the fields of cardiovascular and bone health, as well as wound management. Vitamin E Bioavailability Considerations for Maximized Health Benefits by Joanna Cosgrove INSIDER's Take Vitamin E has demonstrated positive effects for bone, skin and eye health, and has recently shown potential in the field of cognitive decline, specifically with Alzheimer's disease.

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