Health Importance of Vitamin E, Roles in body functions, Benefits of Intake, Toxicity, Deficiency, Related Health Issues, Food Source, Recommend Dose and FAQ
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is the main lipid-soluble antioxidant in the cell’s antioxidant system and is obtained only from diet. Vitamin E protects polyunsaturated fatty acids and other components of cell membranes and low-density lipoproteins from the release by free radicals. It is mainly located within the phospholipid double layer of the cell membrane. The most important type is ‘α-tocopherol’. There are very few clinical signs of deficiency.
Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and is available as a dietary supplement. Vitamin E is the collective name of a group of fat-soluble compounds with special antioxidant activity.
Vitamin E Health Importance
Naturally produced vitamins E exist in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gama-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gama-, and delta-tocotrienol) that have different levels of biological activity. Alpha-(or α-) tocoferol is the only form recognized for fulfilling human needs.
The following portions of the article discuss the health importance of Vitamin E intake and other related important things.
Roles of Vitamin E in Your Health
There have been many claims about vitamin E playing a role in the healthy physical-mental growth and strengthening immune system. The mechanisms that vitamins E can provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its role in anti-inflammatory processes, platelet integration barriers, and immunity boosting.
One of the primary obstacles to identifying the role of vitamin E in health is the lack of valid biomarkers for vitamin E intake and the condition of helping to relate the intake to legitimate predictors of clinical results.
Benefits of Vitamin E intake
- Coronary Heart Disease
Evidence comes from several sources that vitamin E can help prevent or delay coronary heart disease (CHD). The In Vitro study found that nutrition prevents low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol generation, which is thought to be an important starting step for atherosclerosis. Vitamin E prevents blood clotting. Blood clots can lead to heart attack or vein thromboembolism.
Several observational studies have linked low heart disease rates to high vitamin E intake. A study of nearly 90,000 nurses found that heart disease cases were 30% to 40% lower in those who took high amounts of vitamin E, mainly supplements. A study done observing a group of 5,133 people (both men and women) proved that those who took more vitamin E through diet had lower risk of death from Chronic Heart Disease (CHD).
Antioxidants like vitamin E protect cell components from the harmful effects of free radicals. These free radicals can contribute to the development of cancer. Vitamin E can prevent the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamine from nitrate in food in the stomach and protect against cancer by increasing immunity. Unfortunately, human trials and surveys that have tried to link vitamin E intake to cancer treatment have found that this vitamin is not beneficial in most cases.
- Eye disorders
Age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are the most common causes of vision loss in older people. Their etymology is generally unknown, but the combined effects of oxidative stress are thought to play a role. If this happens, antioxidant functions of vitamin E can be used to prevent or treat these conditions.
- Cognitive decline
Scientists seeking to eliminate the causes of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and other diseases in the brain and nervous system have focused on the role of free radical damage in the development of these diseases. But to this day, there is little evidence whether vitamin E can help protect against these diseases or whether it already provides any benefit to those with the disease.
Also Read: 12+ Tips to Improve Your Attention/Focus
Effects of Vitamin E Toxicity
Vitamin E intake naturally from food is not toxic. Most adults receiving more than 22 IU of RDA daily use multivitamin or different vitamin E supplements that contain 400-1,000 IU daily. Till date no report of harmful effects due to complementary use of vitamin E has been found.
However, there is a risk of excess bleeding, especially if one person is taking more than 1000 mg of dose daily or if a person is using blood thinner suprasine like oerferin. For these reasons, an upper limit of 1000 mg (1465 IU) of any vitamin E supplement (Tocopherol) has been set for adults aged 19 and above.
Also Read: Vital Importance of Vitamin B for Human Body
What happens when you have Vitamin E Deficiency?
Since vitamin E is found in various foods and supplements, its deficiency is rare. People who have digestive disorders or the body does not absorb fat properly (such as pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease) may get vitamin E deficiency. The following are common signs of deficiency-
- Retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eye that can damage vision)
- Peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerve, usually in the hands or legs, causes weakness or pain)
- Ataxia (loss of body movement control)
- Reduction in immune function
Also Read: Immune System of Human Body
Foods that are Rich in Vitamin D
Vitamin E is found in plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables-
- Wheat Gram Oil
- Sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanuts, Peanut Butter
- Beet green, collard green, spinach
- Red Capsicum
- Avocado etc.
Recommended Doses of Vitamin E
The Recommended Diet Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E for men and women aged 14 and over is 15 mg/day (or 22 international units, IU), including pregnant women. Lactating women need a little more than 19 mg (28 IU) per day.
Reaction to Medications
Vitamin E supplements are likely to react with different types of drugs. Here are a few examples below. People taking these and other medicines regularly should discuss vitamin E intake with doctors.
- Anticoagulants and Antiplatelet drugs
Vitamin E can prevent platelet integration and may oppose vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. As a result, taking large doses with anticoagulants or antiplatelet drugs, such as warfarin, can increase the risk of bleeding, especially with low vitamin K intake. The amount of supplement vitamin E required to produce clinically significant effects is unknown but probably exceeds 400 UI/day.
- Simvastatin and Niacin
Some people take vitamin E supplements along with other antioxidants such as vitamin C, selenium, and beta-carotene. This combination of antioxidant ingredients reduces the increase in cholesterol levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), especially among people treated with HDL2 levels, the most cardioprotective HDL ingredients, a combination of simvastatin and niacin.
- Chemotherapy and Radiotherapy
The anchologists generally recommend not to use antioxidant supplements during chemotherapy or radiotherapy for cancer as they can reduce the effectiveness of these treatments by preventing cellular oxidative damage to cancer cells. While a systematic review of random controlled trials has raised questions about this, more research is needed to assess the potential risks and benefits of contemporary antioxidant supplements with traditional treatments for cancer.
The above article discusses the information about vitamin E and its health importance in your body. These data are reliable source based. Approach the doctor for more information and any problems related to vitamin deficiency or toxicity.
Sources: NIH Govt.
Also Read: Vitamin E Health importance (Assamese)
1) Do I need to take vitamin E supplements?
A- It is best to take the natural form of vitamin E through food. Eat a handful of nuts or any vitamin E rich food every day. You don’t need supplements unless you have symptoms of deficiency.
2) How do I know if I have vitamin E deficiency?
A- Clinically manifest vitamin deficiency is not common. However, if you are suffering from chronic diarrhea with a thin stool, consult a doctor for further treatment.
3) Does vitamin E have blood lightening properties?
A- Yes. Vitamin E has the effect of diluting blood which can lead to problems if taken with drugs like warfarin.
4) What is the use of Vitamin E oil?
A- It is used to remove skin wrinkles, stretch marks and as moisturizer, to heal spots and dry skin.
5) What happens if vitamin E is taken with a blood thinner like warfarin?
A- It will react with warfarin and can increase the risk of spontaneous bleeding and stroke.
6) I am constantly tired and sick. Do I have vitamin E deficiency?
A- This is possible but it may also be due to lack of other nutrients and more observations may require. Please consult your doctor for proper treatment.