|Vitamin E is often added to skincare products.|
Source: Lightsnlather (CC:3.0)
The liver uses vitamin E to produce substances known as lyso PIs, which not only transport DHA to the brain, but also stay around to help repair brain cell membranes! With vitamin E deficiency, the level of lyso PIs in the brain is 60% lower, setting a course for disaster. Within the term "vitamin E", there are also eight different types: four tocopherols, and four tocotrienols, each with the prefix alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-. Most research has focused on alpha-tocopherol, but research has shown that gamma-tocopherol and beta-tocotrienol are the most important for memory, as well as the total blood tocotrienol levels.
Food sources of vitamin E include hazelnuts, almonds, sunflower seed kernels, peanuts and cranberries, but supplementation is often called for in chronic illnesses. Research described by the Linus Pauling Institute describes mixed results with vitamin E supplementation, but this includes many successes. Two of these include significantly slower disease progression and improved survival in patients with Alzheimer's disease, and improved cognitive performance when the supplementation reduced oxidative stress. As the latter only reported benefit when oxidative stress as a whole was lowered, the question is not "does vitamin E work?" but "what other factors should have been addressed when supplementation failed?" They also only regard alpha-tocopherol as "evidence-based" enough, but with the results of the above research, we need a more holistic perspective. Yes, as the LPI writes, vitamin E aids immunity and prevents oxidative stress, but for it to perform at its best we need other nutrients, such as DHA.