vitamin E: paleo sources

Answered on April 22, 2016
Created February 24, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Possible Duplicate:
Best way to get vit E?

Vitamin E: do we get enough with Paleo and if not, is supplementing safe?

1) Good food sources of Vitamin E seem anti-Paleo (wheat germ oil, legumes, PUFA oils). I often read that while some PUFAs are high in Vitamin E, the body uses it for digesting PUFAs - so its not clear whats their net effect. Paprika seems to have good amount, I don't love the taste but mixed with some egg yolks its ok.

2) Some studies show Vitamin E supplements are harmful - see for example Wikipedia on Vitamin E which overview on supplementation looks negative. Yet, many paleohackers cite Vitamin E in their list of supplements.



on February 24, 2012
at 11:00 AM

I use red palm oil - good source of vitamin E, as well as MASSES of other things. http://www.coconutresearchcenter.org/article%20red%20palm%20oil.htm

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2 Answers



on April 22, 2016
at 05:07 PM

true. it is best to use sunflower sprouts. there vitamin C has increased, the fats are gone, but the vitamin E is all there.



on April 22, 2016
at 10:25 AM

According to http://www.naturalhub.com/natural_food_guide_nuts_uncommon_Ricinodendron_rautanenii.htm the tropical mongongo nut has about 565 mg vitamin E per 100 grams, mainly gamma tocopherol. So it´s 500-1000 times more than in walnuts.


"Hayden (3) stated that hunter-gatherers such as the !Kung might live in conditions close to the “ideal” hunting and gathering environment. What do the !Kung eat? Animal foods are estimated to contribute 33% and plant foods 67% of their daily energy intakes (1). Fifty percent (by wt) of their plant-based diet comes from the mongongo nut, which is available throughout the year in massive quantities .


This group obtains an estimated 56% of energy from this nut, and on their 2140 kcal average diet, they would obtain around 30 grams of linoleic acid from this nut alone. It is very low in alpha-linolenic acid, so their n6 to n3 ratio is likely very high.

It is usually a good idea to go for tropical fats because they are more stable, designed to resist the heat in the tropics, which would be similar as in the human body. But even if vitamin E is low, other antioxidants can compensate.


I think it makes sense to focus on antioxidants and vitamin C, not necessarily only vitamin E, because it has been shown that with added vitamin C, vitamin E will also increase in the body. In a recent study one group was given 500 kcal extra from fruits and the other 500 kcal extra from nuts. By the end of the study, the fruit group had much higher vitamin E levels, despite lower intake than the nut group.


Given that human milk and most animal foods are low in vitamin E, and human milk additionally is low in selenium and zinc, however very high in vitamin C, it may be that we don´t need a lot of these minerals, it´s just that they are "used" up to indirecly serve as antioxidants for example as a result of insufficient vitamin C/fruits/vegetables in the diet coupled with a lot of refined and heated vegetable oils. Some vitamin E is lost in the refining process of these oils, and some more is lost during the frying. But even so I would suspect for example sunflower seeds despite being very high in vitamin E, will not have enough antioxidant to properly protect its polyunsaturated fats in the warm human body.


Vitamin C also likely has some additional effects, like protecting eyes and brain, and is not toxic at high intakes (like selenium and vitamin E can be), at least if it´s coming from natural supplements like acerola cherry, rose hips etc. They can be made into a tea, and I find it very tasty.


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