“d-alpha tocopherol” Is NOT Vitamin E

My Chorale PicAre you taking 800 units of “vitamin E” every day? If so, you may be doing more harm to your body than good. Read this report by John Courtney, former head of Research & Development for Standard Process Laboratories for thirty years. When you’re finished reading, you will have a clear understanding of what vitamin E is and is not..


Functions of Vitamin E: promotes cell repair, anti-scarring, increases tissue resistance to stress, (supports skin, muscles, ligaments, tendons), specific support to cardiovascular system, source of manganese and selenium and aids in pituitary function.

John Courtney: Our VITAMIN E Complex product (CATAPLEX E) presents a situation similar to our other vitamin formulas. Dr. George Goodheart, for instance, who has developed this muscle testing technique, AK, frequently lectures to doctors, and he always calls one up and checks him for vitamin E. He will say: “You’re deficient in vitamin E.” The doctor usually says, “That’s impossible. I take 800 units of vitamin E every day.” So George says, “Take one
now.” So the doctor takes one and George tests him and there is no change. So he gives the doctor one of our two-unit CATAPLEX E tablets and the doctor becomes stronger.

This is what I mean by function. We are interested in making a product that has function, and we give it to the doctor no matter what it looks like on the label. Granted, they would not sell in health food stores because people try to read labels and they don’t understand them. Instead of reading the ingredients, they read how many units of something and that throws them off.

We talked about vitamin E as classified by the government as “tocopherol.” There are seven tocopherols in all, alpha being one of them. The government has decided to rate any vitamin E product according to the amount of alpha tocopherol it contains. The tocopherols are antioxidants, just like ascorbic acid. They are a part of the E complex, but they are not the active ingredients. Their function is to preserve the active factor. Tocopherols are measured on the basis of cell growth.

Kids who have acne have it at a time when their sex organs are beginning to develop and require vitamin E. If they’re not getting enough vitamin E in their diet, the gonads begin to take the vitamin E that would otherwise be used in the maintenance of the health of the skin. So there begins to be abnormal skin growth.

On the other hand, the entire E complex contains the polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin F is part of the E complex, as are Vitamins A and K. There are some forms of vitamin D and manganese in the E complex as well. The traditional source for vitamin E is vegetable oils. But the best quality vitamin E comes from whole vegetables. Green lettuce is one of the best sources, and the pea plant is what we use and is about equally as good. We raise green peas on our farms and press the juice out and vacuum dry it. This is our E concentrate. It is high in manganese. The manganese is combined with the protein, vitamins and other
trace minerals in the plant in the growing process. You could call our CATAPLEX E a “naturally chelated” product.

“Chelated” means “combined.” If you take any high potency laboratory-chelated products, your body has to do some combining in order to make them work. But if you take your minerals the way nature provides them, combined with protein and vitamins through the growing process of plants, they are bound to work.

For example, we could take vitamin E and separate the tocopherols from the manganese. Putting them back together in the laboratory, chelating them artificially, we would find they wouldn’t work. But they worked before you took them apart. Dr. Lee used an analogy to illustrate this point.

The same point applies to all of our products. He said you can give a chemist a watch and he can analyze it for content. Then hit it with a hammer and give it back to him. Although it is the same watch, it has now lost its function. A nutritional concentrate is an organized mechanism that has a function. If you break the function by separating the parts, the body can no longer use the mechanism. High potency’ vitamin E products are made this way.

Tocopherols are broken down and separated from oils, the natural tocopherols are separated from vegetable oil. Then they are packed into a gelatin perle and you have a high potency vitamin E product, a 200 or 500 International Unit vitamin E product. That means 200 or 500 International Units of alpha tocopherol, because the government insists that the potency of the product is measured by the amount of alpha tocopherol it contains. Of course, the reason for doing this is to give the public a “high potency” product. Although the label of such a product will say “all natural” or “organic” – it was taken from oil, a natural source – it’s still not food. It’s an incomplete product. You are getting lots of tocopherols, but none of the active components of the E complex: the F, A, K, D, manganese, etc.

Our VITAMIN E is a two International Unit product. Each tablet contains two International Units of alpha tocopherol. The remainder of the tablet is composed of all the other vitamin E components. How do the high potency vitamin E products work? By preserving the active components of the E complex which still remain in the patient’s tissues. If you recall, the tocopherols are an antioxidant. So the patient’s symptoms, such as angina, will disappear, but often only temporarily. The body is designed to utilize food in its whole form. If you eat incomplete foods, such as refined tocopherols, all the missing factors are borrowed from the tissue reserves in order to make the partial food usable. Sooner or later, depending on the patient’s past eating habits, there will be a deficiency of those nutrients, causing what’s referred to as a “reversal of symptoms.” This means there is a recurrence of the same symptoms, which were causing the problem in the first place, often to a more serious degree.  

Bicknell and Prescott, in their book THE VITAMINS IN MEDICINE, talk about bone decalcification and other problems caused by the use of excessive alpha tocopherol. So, high potency vitamins are similar to drugs in their effect. They cause a masking of symptoms, which eventually creates additional problems. Dr. Lee used to say that using high potency vitamins was like whipping a tired horse; he would be stimulated to run faster but sooner or later he collapses because you never fed him. Sometimes doctors call us for help with patients with cramps. This could be cramps anywhere in the body-the legs, abdomen, heart, etc. They will say, “I’ve tried everything I could nutritionally, calcium, magnesium, etc., and the patient still has cramps.” Then we ask if the patient is taking high potency vitamin E. Many times they are, and the cramps developed after they started taking the high potency vitamin E. Then, of course, we suggest the doctor take the patient off the high potency vitamin E product.

Our approach is to give the patient the specific food factors which he’s lacking, along with the associated factors, which make it work. In the case of angina, we would recommend CATAPLEX E2. It’s the part of the vitamin E complex, which preserves calcium in the tissues. A person with angina is usually deficient in this food factor, so he develops cramps in the muscles of his heart. One final word about our CATAPLEX E, and this applies to our other products as well. Sometimes tablets from different lots will be different in color, This is due to variables in the conditions under which the peas were grown — moisture in the air and soil, the mineral: content in the soil, etc. Since we don’t color or sugar-coat our tablets, they don’t always look alike. We have always felt this better than having to use artificial dyes or coating in order to give the tablets a uniform appearance.

Now you have a complete picture of what vitamin E actually is. The same applies to so-called “vitamin C” which the FDA says is ascorbic acid. Ascorbic acid is no more vitamin C than an orange peal is the whole orange. Ascorbic acid is the anti-oxidant envelope in which the active and functional ingredients of vitamin C are contained and protected. More on this in my next blog.

Here’s to your health

Anthony Palombo, DC, ACN – Chiroparctor and certified practitioner of Applied Clinical Nutrition.

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