Yes, supplementing with isolated a-tocopherol depletes other tocopherols, tocotrienols, and vitamin K. (1–5)
Although moderate amounts of gamma-tocopherol are found in the US diet, there are almost no tocotrienols found in common food. It is especially important to supplement with tocotrienols as they have unique effects in the cardiovascular system, liver, and brain that is not supported by a-tocopherol. Its also important to avoid isolated/synthetic alpha-tocopherol so you don’t deplete the other vitamers.
A couple facts:
The body does not synthesize any form of vitamin E.
The plasma level of the various tocopherols and tocotrienols has no relevance to their role in health and disease.
Although the other vitamin E vitamers are metabolized more quickly than alpha-tocopherol, they are retained at significant concentrations in the fat and skin tissue (1-2 months). Either way, the pharmacokinetics have no relevance to their role in health and disease.
Canola oil is not 35% gamma-tocopherol by weight. The total amount of vitamin E in canola might be 35% gamma-tocopherol, but this would be a miniscule amount indeed relative to the amount of alpha-tocopherol added to the product.
Any product that claims to be a “meal replacement” should contain a naturally occurring ratio of vitamers. Soylent should replace alpha-tocopherol with a naturally diverse source of vitamin E, or remove alpha-tocopherol entirely. Alpha-tocopherol alone either provides no benefit, or in the worst case is associated with increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer, and death – presumably because of depletion of other tocotrienols, tocopherols, and vitamin K. (6–20)
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