Recently, there have been several important discoveries about vitamin E. Last month, we discussed a little about the public’s concept of the health roles of vitamin E and asked leading vitamin E expert Maret Traber, Ph.D., to discuss some basics about our needs for vitamin E. As a starter, Dr. Traber reviewed her scientifically “game-changing” research on the human tocopherol transport protein (TTP) and why the only form of vitamin E with a significant role in human health is alpha-tocopherol. This month we will discuss more of the vitamin E basics including the differences between various forms of vitamin E available in dietary supplements, especially the differences between “natural-source” and synthetic vitamin E. We will also discuss why there is no significant difference in health benefits between the various vitamin E esters (e.g., tocopheryl acetate, tocopherol succinate) in oral vitamin E supplements. Vitamin E is needed as an essential nutrient, however about 90% of Americans do not even get the recommended dietary allowance (RDA). After reviewing these basic actions of vitamin E, we will then be ready to discuss some of the important new research in subsequent columns ...