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We are all afraid of losing our mind, and our memory. It's scary to forget what you were just saying or where you put your glasses. No one is clear about what causes memory loss or neurodegenerative brain disorders, but we know fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E support brain health.

Vitamin E is superman for your brain. There's a lot of confusion about E. Do you see "dl- alpha tocopherol" on the label? You probably do, that is what 99 percent of E supplements contain. All synthetic forms of vitamin E are labeled with a dl- prefix. I wouldn't put this in my body if you paid me. Natural E has the d- prefix and is recognized by your cells.

There is another part of the vitamin E molecule called "tocotrienols." It is like Kryptonite to Superman because of the strong antioxidant activity. Tocotrienols are 50 to 70 times more potent than tocopherols and penetrates deeper into fatty tissues like your brain, and liver. Tocotrienols are found in mostly in palm oil and rice bran oil with trace amounts in wheat, rye, barley, and oats (however, all those grains contain gluten which may harm the brain over time). What do you think the likelihood is that you're getting this amazing antioxidant in therapeutic amounts? Zero.

To get enough, you'd have to slurp a cup of palm oil per day, two cups of rice bran oil per day or almost 3 and a half pounds of wheat germ per day! No, don't do it! Vitamin E supplements are stronger. High-quality versions contain all the components of vitamin E including 4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols. Those both have four subdivisions, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. So natural vitamin E contains 8 different parts (4 tocotrienols and 4 tocopherols). Gamma tocotrienol is the prizewinner of the bunch!

Natural vitamin E can help with cholesterol, clotting problems, certain cancers like breast and prostate cancer, and brain health. Tocotrienols in particular protect against destructive free radicals linked to chronic disease and inflammation. The bad boys are ROS, NF-kappa B, COX, and LOX, they have to be stopped. Medically, there is no cure for Alzheimer's disease. Medications such as Namenda, Aricept, Exelon and others lessen symptoms. They do nothing to quell these bad boys!

A recent study in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease on tocotrienols should have made headline news. Why it didn't is beyond me! Researchers know that poor mitochondrial function contributes to Alzheimer's disease. Mitochondria are the energy generators in you cells. When they malfunction, you feel fatigued, short of breath and may develop neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer's disease. Researchers found more beta amyloid plaques with poor mitochondrial function, and the study participants developed early stages of Alzheimer's. The cells had poor function, low energy levels, and the cells weren't breathing right. Not good!

They treated the dysfunctional cells for 24 hours with rice bran oil that contained tocotrienols (as well as some tocopherols). Not surprisingly, this treatment reduced dangerous plaques associated with Alzheimer's disease. Ask your practitioner about supplementing with vitamin E, since rice bran oil may not be enough.

Suzy Cohen

Suzy Cohen, is known as America’s Pharmacist. She has been a licensed pharmacist for 24 years and is a Functional Medicine practitioner. She’s the author of 6 books, including her most recent Amazon #1 best-seller, “Thyroid Healthy: Lose Weight, Look Beautiful and Live the Life You Imagine.”

She was the host of The Thyroid Summit which broadcast worldwide in June 2014. Suzy has been a syndicated columnist for 19 years reaching 20 million in circulation each week. She is a Huffington Post writer, and also hosts her own syndicated medical minute on TV. Suzy has been featured on The Dr OZ Show 6 times, and has appeared on The View, Good Morning America Health, The Doctors and hundreds of other networks. She is a member of The Institute of Functional Medicine, also the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, The American Pharmacists Association and ILADS, the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society. You can read free articles and receive your free newsletter by visiting her website,

Books authored by Suzy Cohen include:

  • Thyroid Healthy
  • Headache Free
  • Drug Muggers
  • Diabetes Without Drugs
  • The 24-Hour Pharmacist
  • Eczema: Itchin’ for a Cure (kindle only)
  • Understanding Pancreatitis & Pancreatic Cancer (kindle only)