What is the Role of Vitamin E in Good Nutrition?

Vitamin E has a number of health benefits for the body. It is important for the protection of our cell membranes as well as keeping your skin, heart and circulation, nerves, muscles and red blood cells healthy.

E-Vitamin is a key antioxidant, so it is particularly important for a healthy heart and blood supply. It is also very good for your skin. Being Fat-soluble it is only stored in your body for a short period of time, making regular intake is essential.

What are the Key Functions of Vitamin E?

What are the Food Sources of E-Vitamin?

Who would benefit from E-Vitamin supplementation?

How much E-Vitamin is usually taken?

When should E-Vitamin supplementation be used?

What are the side effects of using E-Vitamins?

What are the Key Functions of Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that helps decrease the effects of free radicals, which may damage cells and accelerate signs of the aging process.

E-Vitamin is beneficial for a healthy immune system.

E-Vitamin is important for the production of energy from food and for maintaining health at every level.

E-Vitamin is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble parts of the body, such as LDL (the “bad” cholesterol), from damage.

Only when LDL (a.k.a. bad cholesterol) is damaged does cholesterol appear to lead to heart disease, and E-Vitamin is an important antioxidant protector of LDL.

Several studies, have reported that 400 to 800 IU of natural E-Vitamin per day reduces the risk of heart attacks.

Research have found either limited benefit, or no benefit at all from supplementation with synthetic Vitamin E. Trials with synthetic E-Vitamin show that, even when taken for years, it does not protect against heart disease.

E-Vitamin also plays some role in the body’s ability to process glucose.

Some trials suggest that E-Vitamin supplementation may prove to be helpful in the prevention and treatment of diabetes.

In addition to its antioxidant functions, Vitamin E is now known to act through other mechanisms, including direct effects on inflammation, blood cell regulation, connective tissue growth, and genetic control of cell division.

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What are the Food Sources of Vitamin E?

Wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, pine nuts, peanut butter, sweet potato, asparagus, spinach, and avocado

E-Vitamin food sources are readily destroyed by heat processing (deep-fat frying) and through oxidation.

Certain vegetable oils should contain significant amounts of E-Vitamin. However, many of the vegetable oils sold in supermarkets have had the E-Vitamin removed in processing.

The high amounts found in supplements, often 100 to 800 IU per day, are not obtainable from eating food.

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Who would benefit from Vitamin E supplementation?

Adequate intake of vitamin C and selenium increase the ability of E-Vitamin absorption. Absorption is however reduced by high intake of iron. Pregnant and lactating women and people with high-risk heart disease factors may need more E-Vitamin.

Severe E-Vitamin deficiencies are rare. People with a genetic defect in a E-Vitamin transfer protein called thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) have severe E-Vitamin deficiency, characterized by low blood and tissue levels of E-Vitamin and progressive nerve abnormalities.

Low E-Vitamin status has been associated with an increased risk of rheumatoid arthritis and major depression.

Women with preeclampsia have been found to have lower blood levels of E-Vitamin than women without the condition.

Very old people with type 2 diabetes have shown a significant age-related decline in blood levels of E-Vitamin, irrespective of their dietary intake.

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When should E Vitamin supplementation be used?

E-Vitamin has been used in connection with the following conditions:

Angina Alzheimer’s disease
Anemia (if deficient) Atherosclerosis
Athletic performance (for exercise recovery and high-altitude exercise performance only) Burns (in combination with vitamin C for prevention of sunburn only)
Bronchitis Cold sores
Dermatitis herpetiformis Diabetes (for glucose tolerance and prevention of diabetic retinopathy)
Down's syndrome Epilepsy (for children)
Heart attack (at 400 to 800 IU of natural Vitamin E) Immune function (for elderly people)
Lung cancer (reduces risk) Osteoarthritis
Pancreatic insufficiency Preeclampsia (in combination with vitamin C; for high risk only)
Premenstrual syndrome Prostate cancer (reduces risk)
Retinopathy (diabetic retinopathy) Rheumatoid arthritis
Skin ulcers (oral Vitamin E) Tardive dyskinesia
Wound healing Yellow nail syndrome

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How much Vitamin E (RDA) is usually taken?

The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) is low, just 15 mg per day.

The most commonly recommended amount of supplemental for adults is 270mg to 540mg per day.

For tardive dyskinesia, the best results have been achieved from 1,600 IU per day, a large amount that should be supervised by a healthcare practitioner.

The clinical benefits of E-Vitamin's protective effect against Alzheimer's disease does not appear until at least 400 IU's a day, even though the US RDA is just 30 IU's per day.

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What are the side effects of using Vitamin E?

Toxicity is very rare and supplementation are widely considered to be safe.

The National Academy of Sciences has established the daily tolerable upper intake level for adults to be 1,000 mg, or 730mg of synthetic E-Vitamin.

Some research suggests E-Vitamin improves glucose tolerance in people with diabetes, one trial reported that 600 IU per day of led to impairment in glucose tolerance in obese people with diabetes. The reason for the discrepancy is not known.

Patients on kidney dialysis who are given injections of iron frequently experience “oxidative stress.” Iron is a pro-oxidant, meaning that it interacts with oxygen molecules in ways that may damage tissues. The adverse effects of iron therapy during dialysis may be counteracted by supplementation with E-Vitamin.

A diet high in unsaturated fat increases E-Vitamin requirements. Fat-soluble parts of the body are protected by the combination of E-Vitamin and selenium working together.

Take note:

You or someone in the family should not take E-Vitamin supplements without consulting a physician or doctor.

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