Vitamin E is used to both stabilise the oils & preent their oxidation, and also (to a lesser extent with the usual amounts given) to offer oxidative protection for the end user as the more unsaturated the fatty acid, the more oxidative damage it is capable of. This is why either an excellent diet or decent multi (pref a seperate vit E tab) can be recommended alongside nutritional oils.
It is a little more complicated than that though - their are 8 forms of Vitamin E - 4 are tocopherols, 4 are tocotrienols. Up until very recently only the benefits of the tocopherols have really been studied, but it's now looking like the tocotrienols are more useful than originally thought. It is known though that the tocotrienols are better at stabilising the oil, but they are not really recognised as additives due to their comparitive obscurity, and so it's difficult to put them in products without legislation issues. This means that tocopherols are generally used, even though some have been shown to not be of help with the oil, and potentially bad for it in some circumstances - can't remember which though.
I think YIB's right about the form you've mentioned being synthetic - ideally naturally sourced vit E is preffered.
EDIT - forgot to say, there will be bugger all vitamin E in it compared to flax oil!!
post edited by Tony Barnes - 2006/07/18 19:18:23