Like the antioxidants discussed above, vitamin E is a potent scavenger of harmful free radical molecules. Hyperthyroidism is associated with a significantly higher level of LDL cholesterol oxidation. This means that free radical molecules damage your LDL cholesterol particles much more readily. And when your LDL cholesterol particles become oxidized, they adhere to artery walls more easily, increasing the risk for heart disease.
This is where vitamin E enters the story. Once consumed, vitamin E makes its way to the liver, where it is incorporated into cell membranes and lipoproteins, like LDL particles, that transport cholesterol. It is here that vitamin E works to protect these compounds from oxygen damage caused by free radicals.
Until we learn more about the role of vitamin E in hyperthyroidism, strive to meet the daily targets you’ll find in the RDA table on page 15 in chapter 1.
Vitamin E Graves Hyperthyroidism Photo Gallery
Wheat germ, nuts, seeds, soybeans, vegetable oils, corn oil, whole grains and kale are all good sources of vitamin E, so be sure to include a few of these in your daily diet. But it can be a challenge to reach the daily recommended intake of 22 IU when you consider that adding 2 tablespoons of wheat germ to your morning smoothie gives you 4 IU of the vitamin. And wheat germ is one of the best sources. For this reason many women opt for a daily supplement to help them meet their target intakes.
To help you choose the right vitamin E supplement, consider the following suggestions:
• Take 100 to 400 IU per day. There’s no evidence to warrant taking more.
• Buy a natural source vitamin E supplement (or look for d-alpha-tocopherol on the label; synthetic forms are labeled dl-alpha tocopherol). Although the body absorbs both synthetic and natural forms equally well, your liver prefers the natural form, as it incorporates more natural vitamin E into transport molecules. Studies have shown that twice as much vitamin E ends up in the blood of people taking natural E as in those taking the same amount of synthetic E.
• If you’re taking a blood-thinning medication like Coumadin® (warfarin), don’t take vitamin E without your doctor’s approval, since it has slight anti-clotting properties.
• The daily upper limit for vitamin E is 1500 IU of natural vitamin E or 2200 IU of the synthetic form.