Expert Opinions

Expert Opinions Archive
My doctor recommended I take Vitamin E in the softgel form. I can't handle oils because they nauseate me, so I take "dry E," natural d-alpha tocopheryl succinate, in a hard capsule. He says the dry form is not effective. Is he right

W.S. Merion Station, PA
Your doctor is incorrect. The dry form of vitamin E, called alpha tocopheryl succinate, is a good option if you don't like oil-based gel capsules, according to Jerry Hickey, R.Ph., chairman of the advisory board of the Society of Natural Pharmacy. Because vitamin E (in any form) is fat soluble, take it with meals containing a little fat, which will help your body absorb the vitamin.

Is natural better? The "d-alpha" version of the vitamin you are taking is the natural form; these natural forms of vitamin E are sometimes also called "mixed tocopherols." Synthetic forms, called "dl-alpha," are often cheaper. Both the natural and synthetic forms are acceptable, though studies suggest that natural vitamin E may be better absorbed and retained in the body than the synthetic form..

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