The cornerstone of any diet is food. However, there are other tools that play important supporting roles in a healthy diet. Exercise if of course desirable, but one aspect that many people tend to forget is nutritional supplements.
Targeted nutritional supplements are no replacement for a good diet, but they dramatically enhance the effectiveness of the diet and will help you achieve your goals more rapidly.
It may be hard to believe that something as simple as taking a few capsules a few times a day can make such a huge difference, but it can.
Vitamin E is your body’s best lipid antioxidant. Fats are particularly prone to free radical damage, and the resultant lipid peroxides are extremely harmful.
Vitamin E prevents lipid oxidation. One of vitamin E’s primary purposes is to protect the unsaturated fats in the cellular membranes from oxidizing.
It also prevents the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which transforms this type of cholesterol into one of the major players in atherosclerosis.
Combined with its other cardio-protective actions – it has a slight blood-thinning effect, discouraging the formation of blood clots, and helps relax the arteries – vitamin E is the guardian angel of the cardiovascular system.
Scientists have examined the effects of supplemental vitamin E in more than 85,000 female nurses and 47,000 male physicians and found that a minimum of 100 international units (IU) of vitamin E reduced the risk of heart attack and death from heart disease by 37 percent in men and 40 percent in women, compared to those who took no vitamin E.
Because vitamin E protects cellular membranes, it enhances the function of the receptors on the cells’ surfaces that “hear” the signals of leptin and insulin. It has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and glucose control and to lower fasting insulin concentrations.
Vitamin E helps people with leptin and insulin resistance in another way as well: it dampens inflammation and lowers levels of highly sensitive C-reactive protein (CRP), which are often elevated in people with these conditions. Overweight people and diabetes sufferers are particularly likely to have elevations in this marker of inflammation.
Vitamin E – even though it is fat-soluble, is very safe. As a matter of fact, doses three times higher than the recommended limit have been taken over extended periods of time and shown to have no adverse effects.
It is essential that you take natural vitamin E, preferably with mixed tocopherols. The recommended daily dosage is taking two 400 IU vitamin E capsules with food for a total of 800 IU.