Researchers have found that specific forms of vitamin E commonly found in some vegetable oils and nuts may prevent colon, lung, breast and prostate cancers.
There are eight forms of vitamin E – all of which act as antioxidants that stop free radical damage and oxidation in your body. (Think of antioxidants as protecting your body from “rusting.”) In the vitamin E family there are four tocopherols (alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-) and four tocotrinols (alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-).
In the study, animals fed vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherols and delta-tocopherols developed fewer and smaller tumors when exposed to cancer-causing substances. When cancer cells were injected into mice, these tocopherols also slowed the growth of tumors.
Heart Health Benefits
In addition to anti-cancer benefits, gamma-tocopherol antioxidants from food sources may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.
In another study conducted last year, researchers found that eating pecans high in gamma-tocopherol doubled gamma-tocopherol levels in the body and reduced unhealthy oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood by as much as 33 percent. Similar studies using pistachios found that they reduced cholesterol levels and oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
Oxidized low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are suspected of causing inflammation and plaque buildup inside blood vessels.
To get all the benefits of gamma- and delta-tocopherols, include these foods in your diet:
- Soybean, canola and corn oils
- Black Walnuts, English Walnuts, pecans, pistachios
- Flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds