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D-alpha tocopheryl acetate, as this subtance is often called, is one of the seven forms of vitamin E. It is the form and the one that you should look in any nutritional supplement that contains vitamin E.
Sometimes, when you purchase a supplement that is supposed to contain d-alpha-tocopherol or tocopheryl, you will see the dl prefix rather than the d alone. What this means is that the vitamin E in the supplement is synthetic. Because the body absorbs only around 30% of synthetic vitamins, it is in your body’s best interest to only purchase all natural vitamins.
Vitamin E, in its natural state, is either a tocopherol or a tocotrienols. D-alpha tocopheryl acetate is a derivative of d-alpha tocopherol. Essentially, it is produced by blocking the phenolic hydroxyl group, which reduces the acidity of the d-alpha tocopherol allowing the body to absorb it better.
The first thing that you will need to know is that the d-alpha represents the alpha group of the E vitamins. You see, there are four groups for both the tocopherol and tocopheryl vitamins.
These four groups are called alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Alpha tocopherol is the only E vitamin that the human body needs, although there are benefits to having the full range of vitamins in the human body.
Tocopheryl was created, as mentioned above, for its ability for the body to absorb. More than that, however, is the fact that the skin absorbs tocopheryl much better than it absorbs tocopherol. This is why d-alpha tocopheryl acetate is an excellent addition to body creams and lotions as well as anti-scarring products.
It is important to note that tocopheryl is not a synthetic form of tocopherol, it is an ester of tocopherol. This means that a chemical compound is created when an alcohol is used to condense the acid within the original element.
You can find ester based compounds in nearly any product that you use from beauty products to plastics, cloth and more. Ester acetate is used because of its low toxicity rates. Using this compound with something like d-alpha tocopheryl allows for more absorption without the concern of toxicity of the liver.
As with most supplements, you will find various claims about the benefits of d-alpha tocopheryl acetate. One of which is that as an antioxidant, d-alpha tocopheryl will decrease your risk of heart attack and stroke. However, according to WebMD there is no scientific evidence to support this claim.
As an antioxidant, there is the possibility that vitamin E may help prevent certain types of cancers. While there is no scientific evidence supporting this claim, there are currently studies in progress, in the animal stages, trying to determine if this is actually the case.
In fact, there are numerous studies of vitamin E currently in progress to determine the overall effect that d-alpha tocopheryl has on free radicals. Often it takes numerous antioxidants from different sources to create a great benefit, but vitamin E may have a major place among those recommended.
Where d-alpha tocopheryl acetate does have proven benefits is for cellular health. There is the potential for a combination of d-alpha tocopheryl with other tocopherol vitamin E elements to slow down the signs of aging. This is why you find so many skin creams containing all of the E vitamins.
In addition, vitamin E is beneficial for:
According to John Hopkins Medicine, a study done at John Hopkins University in 2004 shows that taking more than 400 IUs of any vitamin E a day will shorten your life span.
Many supplement manufacturers recommend higher doses of vitamin E to help the heart. This is an unproven use for d-alpha tocopheryl acetate.
WebMD states that if you have diabetes or a heart condition, you should not take high doses of vitamin E because it can cause side effects or death. In some cases, too much vitamin E can lead to a hemorrhagic stoke. If you have a problem with blood clots, vitamin E may worsen your condition.
D-alpha tocopheryl acetate is often marketed as a fix all because it is an antioxidant. However, you should talk to your doctor before adding vitamin E supplements to your diet to ensure that you don’t have any medical conditions that may be worsened.
Vitamin E also interacts with a myriad of different medications. If you are taking any medication, talk to your doctor before starting vitamin E supplements or vitamins. Use the supplement finder to find vitamin E supplements that contain beneficial d-alpha tocopheryl acetate!