Page 32 - NGA NATURAL mag - Winter Issue
P. 32

Winter 2017
Vitamin E for Excellence
Some people say that the “E” in vitamin E stands for “everything”, or for “excellence”, and this seems quite true.
Whole food sources of vitamin E include dark leafy greens, nuts, seeds, avocados, shrimp, fish, plant oils, broc- coli, squash, and fruits. If you eat plenty of these healthy foods, you will easily get the RDA of vitamin E. But, to
fully reap vitamin E-related athletic benefits, you will need far higher amounts of vitamin E, than you can possibly obtain from a healthy diet (i.e. 200 iu -1000 iu/day). This makes natural vitamin E one of the most interesting and beneficial vitamin supplements for any athlete, who trains seriously, as it has a great deal to do with many important functions of the body and thus contributes in various ways to athletic performance, especially optimum recuperation.
To athletes, supplementation with vitamin E is primarily important because of its role as a powerful antioxidant. Air pollution, environmental toxins, smoking, sun exposure, etc., are significant sources of so called free radicals, but
by far the freest radicals are generated as by-products of normal metabolism (breathing and energy production).
These free radicals - highly reactive, renegade molecules - are generated, when oxygen, which is delivered via the
blood to the cells in form of O2, escapes the controlled metabolic process as negatively charged, highly reactive single oxygen ions. To become stable, these negatively charged single oxygen ions strive to combine with posi- tively charged hydrogen ions, which they attempt to usurp from the fatty acids in the cell membranes. This permanent ongoing attack causes changes to the cells, weakens and damages them, ruptures their membranes and leaves them open to further injury including DNA damage.
The special relevance of all this to athletes is obvious: during vigorous exercise, athletes increase their rate of respiration (metabolism) considerably: their body takes in and uses between 10 and 20 times as much oxygen as dur- ing normal day-to-day activity, which means that propor- tionally more free radicals with the consequently increased potential for cell damage are generated in their systems. In the quest to pair with positive hydrogen ions, these free radicals attack the important polyunsaturated fatty acids within the cells’ membranes, the cells’ DNA and cellular tissues, like the mitochondria, endoplasmic reticulum, various energy-making and repair enzymes, and muscle
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