6 Reasons to supplement with Annatto Vitamin E

You cannot overstate the role that antioxidants play in keeping your body healthy. Your cells are constantly under threat not just from external elements, but also from harmful chemicals produced inside your body. As your cells create energy from the nutrients you get from foods, they inevitably produce unstable, highly reactive byproducts called free radicals.

These molecules are constantly on the hunt for negatively charged particles called electrons that can make them stable. And because the components of your cells – e.g., your DNA, proteins and lipids – have them in abundance, they’re the primary targets of free radicals.

Macromolecules that have been robbed of electrons by free radicals undergo changes in their structures and functions. It’s these alterations that eventually damage your cells and cause them to behave abnormally. [1]

To counteract free radicals, your body makes use of molecules with antioxidant properties – i.e., they can freely donate electrons without turning into harmful chemicals themselves. Antioxidants are naturally produced by your body, but they can also come from the foods that you eat.

Plants produce a variety of chemicals – either as products of metabolism or part of their self-defense – that turn out to be good electron donors. This inherent feature is one of the reasons that plant-based foods are so good for the human body. It’s also one of the major reasons why your doctor or nutritionist tells you to eat more fruits and vegetables instead of meat.

Vitamin E is one of the four fat-soluble vitamins your body needs but can’t produce on its own. You can only get this nutrient from supplements or plant-based foods like almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, mangoes, avocadoes, asparagus, bell peppers, collard greens and spinach. [2]

As an antioxidant vitamin, one of the main functions of vitamin E is to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. [3] Experts agree that this essential vitamin is one of the most powerful antioxidants that come from the human diet. [4]

While it’s true that many naturally occurring chemicals have antioxidant properties like vitamin E, the way vitamin E works inside the body is unique. Researchers have found that it is the only antioxidant that can integrate itself into the lipid bilayer that’s present in the membranes of cells. [5]

The lipid bilayer is made up of dense rows of polyunsaturated fatty acids that, together with the proteins embedded in them, serve as the selective barrier that regulates the passage of ions, proteins and even water molecules in and out of cells. [6] This is important for maintaining homeostasis, without which, your cells wouldn’t be able to survive. [7]

Lipids are vulnerable to oxidation. This is why they require protection from free radicals that could rob them of electrons. But thanks to the molecular structure of vitamin E, which resembles that of the lipids in cell membranes, it can easily reside within the lipid bilayer and protect its integrity. As the only “lipid antioxidant” your cells can rely on, vitamin E is a one-of-a-kind molecule that’s indispensable for maintaining healthy cells.

As a nutrient, vitamin E performs other functions inside your body as well. [8] For instance, it plays an important role in supporting healthy red blood cells (RBCs). In fact, a study published in the Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, confirmed vitamin E’s ability to support healthy RBCs. [9]

Vitamin E also supports the healthy function of your cardiovascular system. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that supplementing with vitamin E helps combat oxidative stress and supports optimal heart health. [10][11]

Vitamin E also promotes your body’s natural defenses by providing invaluable immune support. According to studies, immune cells contain higher levels of vitamin E than other cells present in your blood. By keeping the cell membranes of immune cells healthy, vitamin E helps maintain optimal immune health. [12]

Tocopherols vs tocotrienols

Thanks to continuous research on vitamin E and its protective benefits, it is now well-established that this nutrient comes in two forms: tocopherol and tocotrienol. Each of these two forms has four isomers, namely alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Back in the 1930s, an anatomist named Herbert McLean Evans isolated vitamin E from wheat germ oil and named it alpha-tocopherol. For decades, researchers believed that this isomer was the only form of vitamin E that the body needs. [13] But the discovery of tocotrienols in the mid-1960s and subsequent reports of their benefits gradually changed expert opinion in favor of tocotrienols.

In a study published in the journal Free Radical Biology & Medicine, researchers at the University of California, Berkley found that vitamin E in the form of tocotrienol has 40-60x higher antioxidant activity than tocopherol. This activity was measured in terms of how well each form prevented the oxidation of lipids in rat liver cell membranes. [14]

In another study, American researchers found that combining equal amounts of tocopherol and tocotrienol is not as good an idea as it sounds. They reported that the benefits offered by tocotrienol are, in fact, heavily reduced by the presence of tocopherol. [15] Another study further suggested that tocotrienol’s transportation efficiency is decreased by the presence of tocopherol.

On the other hand, all other isomers of vitamin E only get absorbed if they’re consumed with dietary fats. For this reason, researchers recommend supplementing only with pure tocotrienol to maximize its benefits. [16]

The advantage of tocotrienol over tocopherol lies in its molecular structure. In general, vitamin E isomers are shaped like tadpoles – they have a head that’s responsible for their antioxidant properties and a tail that’s referred to as a sidechain.

Tocotrienol isomers have shorter tails than tocopherols; it is this feature that allows them to move faster inside cell membranes than tocopherols. Because they’re able to cover a larger surface area more quickly, tocotrienols are more effective antioxidants than tocopherols.

The shape of their heads also determines how good vitamin E isomers are at protecting against free radicals. According to studies, alpha-tocopherols and -tocotrienols have the largest heads, followed by their respective beta- and gamma- forms. Delta- isomers have the smallest heads, so they can easily maneuver themselves inside cell membranes. This feature, combined with the short tail of tocotrienols, makes delta-tocotrienols the most beneficial form of vitamin E for your body. [17]

The best source of delta-tocotrienol and associated health benefits

Tocotrienols can be found in a number of vegetable oils, particularly palm oil and rice bran oil. They’re also present in flaxseed oil, hazelnuts, buckthorn berries, oats, olive oil and sunflower oil. [18] But if you’re looking specifically for delta-tocotrienol, there’s no better source for this than annatto.

Annatto is a natural food coloring and condiment derived from the seeds of Bixa orellana. Also known as achiote, this shrub is native to tropical regions like Brazil, Peru, India, Kenya and the Caribbean. [19] According to chemical analysis, achiote seeds are a rich source of tocotrienols. In fact, about 90% of their vitamin E content is pure delta-tocotrienol, while the remaining ~10% is gamma-tocotrienol. [20]

Because of the absence of tocopherols in annatto that can inhibit the activity of delta- and gamma-tocotrienols, it is, hands down, one of the best sources of highly active vitamin E that you can add to your diet.

According to the National Institutes of Health, the diets of most Americans don’t provide enough vitamin E to meet the recommended daily intake for adults. Vitamin E deficiency is linked to nerve and muscle damage, muscle weakness, vision problems and a weakened immune system. Taking annatto vitamin E supplements, which contain highly bioavailable delta-tocotrienol, is the best and most convenient way to boost your vitamin E levels.

Thanks to its high delta-tocotrienol content, annatto vitamin E offers excellent protection against free radicals plus a variety of other health benefits. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research found that combining a well-balanced diet with annatto vitamin E supplementation can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range. The researchers said that this particular combo can also support a healthy heart. [21][22]

Annatto vitamin E also supports optimal bone health. According to a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine, the delta- and gamma-tocotrienols in annatto support healthy bone formation by promoting the normal activity of osteoblasts. This is particularly helpful for postmenopausal women. [23][24]

Aside from your bones, your eyes can also benefit from annatto vitamin E supplementation. A study published in the journal PLoS One reported that tocotrienols can help you maintain healthy eyesight by protecting the cells of your eyes from oxidative stress.[25]

Just as tocotrienols protect your eyes from oxidative damage, they also do the same for your skin. The antioxidant properties of annatto vitamin E can help protect your skin cells from free radical damage, which is linked to premature skin aging. This means that annatto vitamin E can help you maintain healthy, glowing skin. [26][27]

Oxidative stress has a negative impact on your metabolic health. According to a study published in Scientific Reports, annatto vitamin E’s excellent antioxidant properties can help reduce oxidative stress. This, in turn, can help you maintain healthy blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range. [28]

To recap, here are 6 great reasons to supplement with annatto vitamin E, according to science:

  • Provides ~90% delta-tocotrienol, the most powerful antioxidant form of vitamin E
  • Supports healthy heart function
  • Supports strong and healthy bones
  • Helps maintain healthy eyesight
  • Supports healthy, glowing skin
  • Supports healthy blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range

Where to get lab-verified annatto vitamin E

Vitamin E is an essential nutrient your body needs to maintain optimal overall health. Thanks to its unique ability as a lipid antioxidant, it is one of your cells’ strongest protectors against the initiators of oxidative stress.

Of the different forms of vitamin E found in nature, delta-tocotrienol has the highest antioxidant activity and the most health benefits to offer. This form of vitamin E is found in abundance in one source: annatto.

Chief Originals Annatto Vitamin E Delta/Gamma Tocotrienol Softgels are a clean, pure, high-quality source of bioavailable vitamin E. Derived from the seeds of the annatto plant, which contain ~90% delta-tocotrienols and ~10% gamma-tocotrienols, our annatto vitamin E softgels provide superior antioxidant protection for your cells, plus other incredible health benefits.

Chief Originals Annatto Vitamin E Delta/Gamma Tocotrienol Softgels are tocopherol-free, which ensures unimpeded delivery of delta- and gamma-tocotrienols to your tissues and vital organs. These superior forms of vitamin E support healthy vision, heart, skin and bones. They can also support your metabolic health by helping you maintain healthy blood sugar levels that are already within the normal range.

Chief Originals Annatto Vitamin E Delta/Gamma Tocotrienol Softgels are a convenient way to boost your vitamin E levels and maintain healthy cells. They are manufactured using a patented process that ensures purity and cleanliness. Our premium softgels are non-China and non-GMO and contain absolutely no gluten or fillers. They are also lab tested for glyphosate, heavy metals and microbiology.

Enjoy the remarkable health benefits of the most potent form of natural vitamin E by taking annatto vitamin E supplements today!

*These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to treat, cure or diagnose any diseases.



[2] https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/

[3] https://ods.od.nih.gov/

[4] https://www.dsm.com/

[5] https://www.nutritionaloutlook.com/

[6] https://chem.libretexts.org/

[7] https://journals.physiology.org/

[8] https://medlineplus.gov/

[9] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

[10] https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/

[11] https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

[12] https://iubmb.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/

[13] https://www.todaysgeriatricmedicine.com/

[14] https://europepmc.org/

[15] https://academic.oup.com/

[16] https://www.sciencedirect.com/

[17] https://www.sciencedirect.com/

[18] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/

[19] https://bakerpedia.com/

[20] https://www.dovepress.com/

[21] https://www.journaljammr.com/

[22] https://www.nutraingredients-usa.com/

[23] https://www.hindawi.com/

[24] https://www.hormone.org/

[25] https://journals.plos.org/

[26] https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/

[27] https://www.hindawi.com/

[28] https://www.nature.com/

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