• Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin made from compounds called tocopherols. There are seven forms of tocopherol found in natural sources: alpha, beta, delta, epsilon, eta, gamma, and zeta. Alpha-tocopherol provides the highest nutritional benefit to humans. High concentrations of tocopherols are present in cold-pressed oilseed (vegetable oils), whole seeds, whole nuts, and soybeans. The first commercially-produced vitamin E supplements were made from wheat-germ oil. Vitamin E is somewhat different from other vitamins in that there is a difference between the synthetic and natural forms, something that, for example, cannot be said for ascorbic acid (vitamin C). The synthetic form of vitamin E is not used as effectively by the body as natural alpha-tocopherol. It has somewhere between half and two-thirds the efficacy of alpha-tocopherol. However, some of the other natural forms are not as effective as either the alpha form or the synthetic.

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