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What is Vitamin E Acetate?

By December 5, 2019 No Comments
What is Vitamin E Acetate?

Given that vitamin E acetate has been highlighted in the news so much recently, Canna Trading Co. believes it’s time for us to address it. Canna Trading Co. does not use vitamin E acetate in any of our products; we want to clear the air on that. Our products do not contain harmful chemicals or additives. In this guide, we’ll talk about what this chemical is, what applications it’s safe in and why it shouldn’t be vaped.

You might see vitamin E and think that it’s good for you – this form can be, when it’s used in the proper applications. It should not, however, be vaped.

Vitamin E Acetate by Definition

This compound is also known as tocopheryl acetate. It is a form of vitamin E. You may also see it listed as tocopherol acetate. It is a fat soluble organic compound.

Here’s one example of how tocopheryl acetate gets confusing – vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help the body protect itself from free radicals. It’s good for you then, right? Most of the time, yes.

There are other sources of antioxidants via food, such as:

  • Fruit (blueberries)
  • Some seafood
  • Marine plants
  • Vegetables

So, you have multiple options as sources of vitamin E acetate that don’t require the compound to be in a vaped product.

The Four Forms of Tocopheryl/Tocotrienol

Vitamin E comes from one of two sources, but these sources come in 4 different forms. Each can be present as alpha, beta, delta or gamma forms. In our bodies, alpha-tocopheryl is the most active form. Alpha-tocopheryl acetate has higher stability than alpha-tocopheryl.  It has a long shelf-life, which makes it an ideal option for use in supplements and some fortified foods.

How is Vitamin E Acetate Made?

The natural way to make this compound is using vegetable oil products. It can also be made using petroleum products that are not intended to be ingested. If the compound was derived from a natural source, it will be listed as d-alpha tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate. If you see dl-alpha tocopherol or tocopheryl acetate listed on a label, it means that it was derived from another source.

Some of the oils that can be sources of this compound include soybeans and rapeseeds. Natural sources of vitamin E acetate are often combined with acetic acid for topical applications.

vitamin E capsules

Vitamin E capsules

Common Uses for Tocopheryl Acetate

It is very common to see vitamin E acetate used in skincare products and lotions. It is ideal to ensure that the label indicates that it is food-grade vitamin E acetate though. Some data indicates that it may be supportive of inflammatory ailments as an anti-inflammatory.

It is used in many brands of skincare products as it is seen as a moisturizer. Your skin needs moisturizing and it also needs antioxidants. The use of vitamin E acetate kills two birds with one stone, so-to-speak. Another reason that it is used in topical products is its skin protection factor. It’s said that this compound might help protect the skin from UV ray damage.

It can be combined with other vitamins, such as vitamin C, on sunburn. Products containing the alpha form of the compound are likely to have a shorter shelf-life. It is very important to check packaging and labels for shelf lives of skincare products when these ingredients are present. They don’t stay good forever.

If you see vitamin E acetate on a skincare product label and there aren’t storage suggestions, a best by date or a shelf-life listed—contact the manufacturer and ask. The manufacturer should be able to provide guidance when it comes to how long you should keep a product with these ingredients.

Studies on vitamin E in general have mixed results.

Can you take too much Vitamin E?

It’s easy to think that you should pump your body full of vitamins. While your body does need a variety of vitamins to stay balanced – there are limits. When it comes to vitamin E, it’s suggested that adults shouldn’t exceed a dose of 1,000 mg unless specifically instructed by a doctor.

Excessive doses of vitamin E can have negative side effects such as:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Blurred vision
  • Diarrhea
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Weakness

These are common side effects and are also common symptoms of multiple ailments, so it may be difficult for doctors to determine that vitamin E is the cause of the above symptoms.

Don’t Vape Vitamin E Acetate

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  (CDC), vitamin E acetate is one of the main culprits of the current vaping lung illness epidemic. The ailment caused by the unsafe vape products is called EVALI. Vitamin E acetate was found in all of the lung fluid samples tested by the CDC.

Why has it been found in vaping products? It’s used as a thickening agent.

We don’t know what causes vitamin E acetate to become harmful when heated and vaped just yet. All that’s known is that it is the common factor between nearly every single case of EVALI that’s been diagnosed so far. In THC-containing samples, it was present 82% of the time. In nicotine only samples, 62% of the time. What is known is that this compound is being used more than people realize.

It is an additive. It isn’t necessary. There are other ways to make better vaping liquid – such as using the proper carrier liquid. Some vape manufacturers prefer to use MCT oil as it is commonly derived from coconuts.

It’s best to read the labels of your vaping products and ensure that vitamin E acetate is not on that list. Some states, like Oregon, have banned it from being used in any ble cannabis product as a safety precaution.

Closing Thoughts

The CDC still has a lot of testing to do in order to get the answers it needs about the dangers surrounding heated and vaped vitamin E acetate. Rest assured that Canna Trading Co. does not use this additive in our products and never have. If you are leery of a product, contact testing labs in your local area to see if they provide services to individuals and if they have a vitamin E acetate test available.

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