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Dr. Carrie Jones
Dr. Kate Henry
May 11, 2023

Vitamin E Unveiled: Dispelling Myths and Maximizing Benefits of Tocotrienols with Dr. Barrie Tan

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In this episode, Dr. Barrie Tan educates us on the benefits and misconceptions of vitamin E, specifically tocotrienols.

Dr. Barrie Tan is an internationally renowned expert in the field of Vitamin E, with over twenty years of experience in identifying primary sources of plant-based tocotrienols such as rice, palm, and annatto. His extensive research has been focused on the annatto plant, considered the most potent source of tocotrienol.

As the editor of two prestigious books on tocotrienol and the founder of the International Tocotrienol Conference, Dr. Tan has earned the title of "Tocotrienol King." He has also served as the Chief Scientific Officer and Scientific Board Member for several multinational organizations.

Throughout his career, Dr. Tan has collaborated with esteemed institutions, including the US Armed Forces and a Prince of Thailand. His contribution to the field of Vitamin E has been invaluable, and his expertise has been sought after by many.

Key Takeaways:

A short history of vitamin E

Vitamin E, specifically alpha-tocopherol, was discovered about 100 years ago, being known as a birth vitamin because it can bring a fetus to full term. However, the vitamin's reputation as an antioxidant caused it to be overhyped in the first years after its discovery. In the nineties, a big study was done at Harvard and the VA school, which found that synthetic alpha-tocopherol, the most common form of vitamin E, did not do anything at best, and may cause breast and prostate cancer at worst.

Tocotrienols: a powerful form of vitamin E

Dr. Barrie Tan stresses that synthetic alpha-tocopherol is a counterfeit version of vitamin E and that it's crucial to consider other natural forms of vitamin E, such as tocotrienols. Studies have shown that tocotrienols offer numerous health benefits and are even more effective than the more commonly known form of vitamin E, tocopherol, in treating chronic conditions and cancer.

However, Dr. Tan points out that alpha-tocopherol can interfere with the functions of tocotrienol when present together. Therefore, he advises against taking alpha-tocopherol supplements, except in cases of prenatal care for expectant mothers. This highlights the importance of understanding the different forms of vitamin E and using them correctly to optimize their benefits.

Tocotrienols benefits

Dr. Tan sheds light on the numerous health benefits of tocotrienol, which is effective in mitigating chronic conditions, reducing inflammation, treating hypercholesterolemia, and improving lipid levels. Additionally, studies suggest that tocotrienol may possess anti-cancer properties. Notably, tocotrienols have demonstrated promising results in pre-diabetic patients by moderately reducing both sugar and lipid levels.

Learn more about Dr. Barrie Tan

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Previous guests include: Dr Cheryl Burdette of Dunwoody Labs, Cynthia Thurlow of Everyday Wellness, Dr. Stephanie Estima of Hello Betty, Keri Anania of Nebraska Functional Medicine, Dr. Ralph Esposito of Athletic Greens, Dr. Rob Silverman of Westchester Integrative Health Center, Dr. Elizabeth Yurth of  Boulder Longevity Institute and Dr. Mindy Pelz of Dr. Mindy Pelz Co.

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