Pistachios are a good source of vitamin E

Pistachios are a good source of vitamin E

TAKING vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol as a supplement may accelerate the health benefits in people who give up smoking, new research suggests. In the study, improvement in blood vessel function associated with the added vitamin E potentially translated into an estimated 19 percent greater drop in future risk of cardiovascular disease.

The research was presented at the annual Experimental Biology meeting in Boston. The study’s author, Richard Bruno, associate professor of human nutrition at The Ohio State University said: “This is a very short-term study that shows very promising effects and the underlying rationale is that we know it takes many years before the risk for cardiovascular disease of a former smoker matches that of a non-smoker. We hope to develop a therapy to combine with smoking cessation that could accelerate the restoration of vascular function and reduce cardiovascular risk.”

Found in nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils, gamma tocopherol accounts for about 70% of the vitamin E in the North American diet. Unlike alpha tocopherol, gamma tocopherol is a potent defender against disease-provoking compounds in the body known as reactive nitrogen oxides. Furthermore, gamma tocopherol has been found to reduce inflammation, regulate factors that guard against certain cancers and activate genes involved in protecting against Alzheimer’s disease.


  • Wagner KH, Kamal-Eldin A, Elmadfa I. Gamma-tocopherol—an underestimated vitamin? Ann Nutr Metab. 2004;48(3):169-88.
  • Morris MC, Evans DA, Tangney CC, et al. Relation of the tocopherol forms to incident Alzheimer disease and to cognitive change. Am J Clin Nutr. 2005 Feb;81(2):508-14.
  • Rota C, Rimbach G, Minihane AM, Stoecklin E, Barella L. Dietary vitamin E modulates differential gene expression in the rat hippocampus: potential implications for its neuroprotective properties. Nutr Neurosci. 2005 Feb;8(1):21-9.