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Vitamin E Benefits, Sources, Dosage And Deficiency

By on June 6, 2012

Vitamin E BenefitsVitamin E constitute compounds which have many health benefits. Some sources of Vitamin E are food products and supplements. Vitamin E helps in the functioning of our organs. Due to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E helps in a slow cell damage.

What Is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E constitutes eight compounds, which are fat-soluble and have the antioxidant activities. Vitamin E occurs in eight forms, which includes four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.

Food Sources Of Vitamin E

Some sources of vitamin E are sunflower oil, nuts, asparagus, corn oil, safflower oil, avocados, tomatoes, broccoli, nut oils, olive oil, cod liver oil, kiwi fruit, raspberries, palm oil, cottonseed oil. Vitamin E is also present in peanut oil, rapeseed oil, walnuts, oregano, kale, cranberries, pumpkin, peanut butter, egg yolks, marzipan, mangoes, almonds, hazelnuts, sweet potato.

Some other sources of vitamin E are bell peppers, mayonnaise, popcorn, muesli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, blue crab, papayas, Swiss chard, pine nuts, Brazil nuts, cayenne pepper, rockfish, lettuce. Green leafy vegetables contain a high amount of vitamin E.

Food Sources Of Vitamin E

This includes spinach, beet, collard greens, mustard greens and turnip greens. Some common sources of the tocopheral form of vitamin E are dressings, soybean oil, wheat germ oil and margarine.

Functions And Benefits Of Vitamin E

As an antioxidant

The alpha tocopheral form of vitamin E is an antioxidant which is lipid soluble. It prevents oxidation in cell membranes. The vitamin helps in the prevention of free radical propagation. The cell membrane absorbs Vitamin E as it is fat soluble and protects cells from oxidative damage.

Thus, antioxidants prevent damage of a cell by free radicals. Free radicals contain unshared electron. Free radical damage is the cause of cardiovascular disease as well as cancer. The cause of free radical exposure is environmental causes like pollution, smoking, and ultraviolet radiation.

Cancer

Vitamin E helps in the prevention of chronic diseases like cancer that occurs due to the free radicals. Vitamin E reduces colon cancer, colorectal cancer and oral cancer. It also helps in the cancer of the breast, pancreas, prostate and bladder.

Oxidative Stress

Oxygen, when present in the body can be risky as it makes the molecules too much reactive. These excessively reactive molecules damage the cell structure. This situation is known as oxidative stress. Vitamin E helps in the prevention of oxidative stress by preventing oxygen molecules to become excessive reactive.

Tocotrienol Activity

Research has shown that tocotrienols prevent neuron damage and brain damage in stroke patients. It helps in cholesterol reduction.

Enzymatic Activity

Vitamin E regulates the activity of the enzymes. Alpha tocopherol helps in the inhibition of the enzymes that participates in proliferation as well as differentiation of cells in smooth cells of the muscles and monocytes. Vitamin E also helps in the functioning of some enzymes which in turn helps in the dilation of blood vessels and inhibition of platelet
aggregation.

Gene Expression

Vitamin E affects gene expression and helps in the wound repair. It also helps in extracellular tissue regeneration in atherosclerosis.

Neurological Function

Vitamin E helps in the neurological functions and inhibits platelet aggregation.

Treatment Of Heart Diseases

Vitamin E helps in the treatment of heart disease, pulmonary disease and venous thromboembolism.

Eye Diseases

vitamin defieciency

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vitamin E helps in the prevention and treatment of macular degeneration in older people. It also improves lens clarity in patients who have cataract.

Cognitive Decline

Vitamin E provides protection in Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases in which there is free radical damage in the neurons, leading to cognitive decline.

Healthy Skin

Vitamin E protects the skin from the harmful effects of ultraviolet radiation.

Cell Signaling

Vitamin E helps in cell signaling, which is a process of chemical information transfer among the cells.

Women’s Diseases

Vitamin E helps in pregnancy complications of pre-eclampsia. It also helps in painful periods, menopause, and PMS or premenstrual syndrome. The vitamin reduces hot flashes, which may occur due to breast cancer and cysts.

Reduction Of Side Effects

Vitamin E helps in reducing harmful effects of dialysis, radiation, and chemotherapy. It reduces the side effects of some medicines like doxorubicin and amiodarone.

Muscle Strength

Vitamin E improves physical strength, energy, and endurance. It decreases muscle damage due to exercise.

Treatment Of Diseases

Vitamin E helps in the prevention and treatment of acne, allergy, vision disorders, dementia, Angina pectoris, asthma, gout, migraine, peptic ulcers, high blood pressure, aging, menopause, leg pain, stroke, diabetes, male infertility.

The vitamin is also helpful in multiple sclerosis, restless leg syndrome, Huntington’s chorea, peripheral vascular disease, squamous cancer, epilepsy, sunburns, cystic fibrosis, chronic fatigue syndrome, inherited diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, psoriasis, fibrocystic breast disease, osteoarthritis, vaginitis, senile cataracts, graves’ disease, Parkinson’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis and tardive dyskinesia.

Other Functions

Vitamin E provides protection to lipids and helps in the prevention of oxidation of PUFA, which are also known as polyunsaturated fatty acids. Vitamin E helps in immune function, gene expression, and metabolic processes. The vitamin may increase the life span of some people. Gamma tocopherol has anti-inflammatory effects. Vitamin E also helps in the treatment of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, which is a liver disease. The vitamin also helps in making red blood cells.

Daily Requirement Of Vitamin E

The daily requirement of vitamin E for infants who are 0-6 months old is 4 mg per day. Infants who are 7-12 months old need 5 mg per day. Children who are 1-3 years old need 6 mg per day. Children who are 4-8 years old need 7 mg per day. Children who are 9-13 years old need 11 mg per day. Adolescents as well as adults who are 14 years old and above this age group need 15 mg per day.

Deficiency Of Vitamin E

Cause Of Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency occurs when there is malabsorption of fat in the digestive tract. Some diseases that cause fat malabsorption are pancreas and gall bladder disorders. Another cause of deficiency is the premature birth of babies. People who suffer from abetalipoproteinemia also suffer from vitamin E deficiency.

Symptoms Of Deficiency

Some symptoms of a Vitamin E deficiency are ataxia, spinocerebellar ataxia, muscle weakness, myopathies, unsteady walking, muscle mass loss, retinopathy, erythrocyte hemolysis, skeletal myopathy and impaired immune response.

Symptoms Of Deficiency

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There can be digestive system disorders of the pancreas, gallbladder, and liver in which there is a malabsorption of nutrients in the digestive tract. Another symptom of a Vitamin E deficiency is peripheral neuropathy involving the nervous system problems in the limbs. There can be pain and tingling in the limbs along with a loss of sensation.

Overdose Of Vitamin E

Overdose of tocopherol supplements leads to hemorrhagic stroke. It also leads to inhibition of platelet aggregation. High doses of vitamin E cause prostate cancer in adult men. Symptoms of vitamin E toxicity are fatigue, intestinal cramps, and weakness in the muscles, double vision, and diarrhea. Overdose of Vitamin E leads to prolonged bleeding time and clotting problems in patients who have vitamin K deficiency.

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