ACES (Vitamins A, C, E, & Selenium)

Vitamin A

Traditionally, four nutrients have been recognized for their antioxidant qualities, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Selenium.

Vitamin A nourishes the eyes as well as the skin and has been useful in some disorders of the gastrointestinal tract. It is important in the formation of bones and teeth, aids in fat storage and protects against colds, influenza, and respiratory infections. It also helps to slow the aging process and assists the body’s ability to utilize protein.

Two sources of Vitamin A are fish liver oil (pre-formed Vitamin A) and Beta Carotene, which is pro Vitamin A. The body makes Vitamin A as needed from the pro Vitamin A, Beta Carotene. Beta Carotene is best derived from foods that are balanced with other Carotenoids. Although pre-formed Vitamin A can build up in the liver and become toxic, the body will regulate the amount produced by Beta Carotene so that it does not rise to toxic levels. (1)

1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that is required for tissue growth and repair, adrenal gland function, and healthy gums. It protects against the harmful effects of pollution, prevents cancer, protects against infection, and enhances immunity.

New evidence indicates that Vitamin C and Vitamin E work together and have a greater effect than when they are taken separately.

When Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid) is combined or “chelated” with minerals it becomes an alkaline rather than an acid substance, making it more absorbable and less irritating to the stomach. Combining Vitamin C with Bioflavonoids makes it considerably more efficient. (1, 2)

  1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.
  2. Nutritional Influences on Illness, by Melvyn R. Werbach MD and Michael T. Murray, ND

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents cancer and cardiovascular disease. This supplement improves circulation, repairs tissue, and is useful in treating fibrocystic breasts and premenstrual syndrome. It also promotes normal clotting and healing, reduces scarring from some wounds, reduces blood pressure, aids in preventing cataracts, improves athletic performance and aids leg cramps. It retards aging and may prevent age spots as well. (1)

Vitamin E comes from both synthetic and natural sources. The synthetic form is preceded by the initials “DL”. The “L” indicates that it is synthetic. There is more than one component that is needed to make Vitamin E “complete.” Many contain only the d-Alpha component, but the others are necessary since they work in combination with each other. When these are all present they are referred to as “mixed tocopherols.”

Be careful also to avoid unnecessary fillers in Vitamin E products. Many contain added soybean oil, which may become rancid and increase the risk of disease.

  1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.


Selenium is a vital antioxidant, especially when combined with Vitamin E. As an antioxidant, selenium protects the immune system by preventing the formation of free radicals (unbalanced molecules), which can damage the body. Selenium and Vitamin E act together to aid in the production of antibodies and to help maintain a healthy heart. This trace element (mineral) is needed for pancreatic function and tissue elasticity. A selenium deficiency is linked to cancer and heart disease. (1)

Selenium exists in both organic and inorganic forms. Many studies have shown that the most absorbable form of organic selenium is L-Selenomethionine. It is not only more absorbable but remains in the body longer, giving it a greater opportunity to be utilized by the body.

Because of the material that exists on these antioxidants combined with the fact that they are recognized by both nutritional and medical research, Vitamins A, C, E, and Selenium form a simple and basic foundation to anyone’s nutritional program.

  1. Prescription for Nutritional Healing by James F. Balch, M.D. and Phyllis A. Balch, C.N.C.
  2. Sabinsa Literature.