Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. It is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It is also an antioxidant. As an antioxidant, vitamin E provides some protection against heart disease, cancer, atherosclerosis, inflammatory diseases like arthritis and other effects of aging. Antioxidants provide protection against diseases and conditions that are associated with aging by preventing free radicals from damaging cells of the skin, eyes, liver, heart and other bodily organs.
What are the Functions of Vitamin E?
- Acts as an antioxidant, preventing the damage done by oxidation of nutrients and other chemicals in the body
- Supports healthy skin and assists in cell production
- Inhibits platelet aggregation
- Vitamin E also protects lipids and prevents the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids
- It is also important in the formation of red blood cells and it helps the body use vitamin k. It also helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside the vessels
- Specifically it seems to prevent damage to the eyes from the age related macular degeneration, reduce the risk of heart diseases and helps prevent the certain cancers
- Helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes and may help prevent damage to the eyes and nerves
- Involves in immune function- as a part of the immune system vitamin E enhances antibody formation
What are the Health Benefits of Vitamin E?
- Prevent the diseases of heart and blood vessels including hardening of the arteries, heart attack, chest pain, leg pain due to blocked arteries and high blood pressure
- Used for treating diabetes and its complications.
- It is used to prevent cancer particularly lung and oral cancer in smokers
- Skin care:-vitamin E can aid in the treatment of various skin conditions. Topical applications are used to treat psoriasis. Orally ingested vitamin E can help in treating the erythema. Erythema is a skin infection results in reddish, painful and tender lumps.
- Treatment of scars:-this is one of the more controversial benefits of vitamin E. Initially, it was thought that vitamin E was very beneficial in the treatment of scarring and healing of skin from various damages such as burns. Some recent research has questioned this benefit of vitamin E
- Prevention of skin cancer:-one of the most important benefit of vitamin E is sun protection quality which reduce the skin damage due to sun
- For skin care, more benefit is obtained from topical application of vitamin E through creams or lotions rather than taking vitamin E orally. Skin is able to absorb natural vitamin A effectively. However, taking vitamin E orally is important for the good health
- Vitamin E is used for the treatment of brain and nervous system including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, night cramps, restless leg syndrome, epilepsy
- Vitamin E products help reduce the appearance of stretch marks
- Prevent and appearance of the age spots
- It helps in maintaining the skins oil balance during the cleansing process
- It reduces transepidermal water loss from skin and strengthens the skins barrier function
- Prevents the complications in late pregnancy due to high blood pressure, premenstrual syndrome, painful periods, menopausal syndrome
- Improve physical endurance, increase energy, reduce muscle damage after exercise and improve muscle strength
- Also used for cataracts, asthma, respiratory infections, skin disorders, sunburns, cystic fibrosis, infertility, impotence, peptic ulcers and certain inherited diseases
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells in cancers associated with hormonal causes such as prostate cancer, breast cancer
- Improves the speed of healing wounds
- Reduce scars from wounds and injuries
- Sometimes vitamin E is used to lessen the harmful effects of medical treatment such as dialysis and radiation
- Helpful in treating lupus, rheumatoid arthritis
- Topical vitamin E promotes good blood circulation and prevent the formation of blood clots especially in diabetic patients
How to Get Vitamin E? Sources of Vitamin E
The foods containing vitamin E are not difficult to find. Vitamin E sources are common and easily available foods. Vitamin E is normally associated with topical skin care creams, lotions, ointments and other products, but it is also important to have the required vitamin E in your diet.
- Green leafy vegetables
- Vegetable oils-soybean oil, sunflower oil, wheat germ oil, corn oil
- Nuts-almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pista
- Fruits-papaya, avocado, mango blue berries, apples
- Vegetables-sweet potato, asparagus, spinach, turnip greens, mustard greens
- Fortified cereals
- Other sources are sunflower seeds, olives, pasta, egg
The effectiveness of vitamin E for health and skin care can be reduced when vitamin E foods are cooked, processed, improperly stored for long periods of time. Raw, fresh, minimally processed foods are best sources for vitamin E.
What is the daily recommended intake value for vitamin E?
The RDA values for vitamin E vary by age not by gender. For 0-6months-4mg, 7-12 months-5mg, 1-3 years- 6mg, 4 -8 years-7mg, 9-13 years-11mg, above 14 years-15mg. Breast feeding women should get 19 mg.