Vitamin E Sources, Benefits, Side Effects, Dosage & Precautions
Vitamin E as an antioxidant helps to maintain overall health preventing various diseases. It’s a fat-soluble vitamin and also helps in the proper functioning of the organs, various activities related to enzymes, preventing heart disease, high blood pressure and some neurological activities as well.
It encloses a group of eight compounds called tocopherols and tocotrienols which have their subsets that contain vitamin complex as found in nature. These compounds have different biological and chemical effects.
Structure and Composition:
Molecular formula: C29H50O2
Molecular weight: 430.717 g/mol
Types of Vitamin E:
Tocopherols: This type of Vitamin E is divided into 4 parts i.e. alpha tocopherol, beta tocopherol, gamma tocopherol and delta tocopherol. The main source of tocopherols is soy oil and sometimes from the wheat germ. Alpha-tocopherol is essential for our body and its functions. Some of the important functions of it are mentioned below:
- It acts effectively in deactivating free radicals and stops its ongoing reactions.
- It prevents the nitrosamines formation in the stomach which leads to cancer.
- It improves the capacity of blood to carry oxygen.
- It also prevents blood clotting.
- It relieves the pain of arthritis.
- It fights against free radical-induced disease.
Tocotrienols: It is categorized into four subparts further i.e. alpha tocotrienol, beta tocotrienol, gamma and delta tocotrienols. It is derived from rice bran, wheat, barley and palm oils and makes cell membranes preferable. Its functions are:
- It can decrease the formation of various tumors and prevent the damage of DNA and cells
- It has a potential to soothe arteries which are blocked with cholesterol.
- It reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- It improves blood glucose.
- It works as an anti-aging cosmetic product due to its antioxidant quality.
- It is effective in lowering blood pressure.
It is found abundantly in the below mentioned natural foods:
- Almond – 7.3 mg
- Spinach – 6.9 mg
- Sweet potato – 4.2 mg
- Avocado – 2.7 mg
- Wheat germ – 4.5
- Sunflower germs – 4.2 mg
- Palm oil – 2.2 mg
- Butternut squash – 2 mg
- Trout – 2 mg
- Olive oil – 2 mg
- Chicken thigh
- Chicken breast
- Pork shoulder
- Egg yolk
Benefits Of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E plays a crucial role in hormone balancing which helps in maintaining a healthy weight, keeps a regular menstrual cycle and makes you more energetic.
Balances menstrual cycle:
Vitamin E helps in reducing cramping, craving and anxiety during periods. It also decreases the blood loss and pain during this cycle.
Cholesterol is made up of the liver naturally and body requires it for the proper functioning of cells, nerves and hormones. Vitamin E works as a protective antioxidant which fights cholesterol oxidation.
Fights against free radicals:
Free radicals fight in the body and break down the cells in the body which leads to heart diseases and cancer. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant that can reduce free radical damage, fight against inflammation and helps in slow aging.
It helps in strengthening the skin capillary wall which improves the elasticity and maintains the moisture of the skin. It also reduces the inflammation within the body and gives healthy and youthful skin. It treats sunburns, scars, acne and skin diseases like eczema.
Fights hair loss:
As Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, it decreases the damage to your hair. It helps in promoting circulation to the scalp. It gives natural oil to the scalp which makes hair looks healthy and fresh.
Vitamin E helps in decreasing the rate of blindness as it is essential for vision. It is said that people who undergo laser eye surgery can take high doses of Vitamin E in order to get a quick recovery.
Improves muscular strength:
Vitamin E improves the physical strength and makes the muscles strong. It removes the fatigue from the body by promoting blood circulation and makes capillary wall strong and nourishes cells.
Essential during pregnancy:
Vitamin E is critical during pregnancy. It helps in neurological activities and brain development which is essential for the fetus in early stages of pregnancy.
Essential in men’s libido:
It plays a critical role in the men’s libido as it helps in increasing the sperm count.
Side Effects of Vitamin E:
Get medical help if you see below-mentioned signs while taking Vitamin E:
- Redness and itching on the skin
- Breathing problems
- Swelling on different body parts
- Vision changes
- Diarrhea and stomach cramps
- Unusual bleeding from gums and nose
It is highly recommended to ask your doctor before taking Vitamin E in your daily routine if you have below mentioned medical conditions:
- Blood clotting (hemophilia)
- Liver disorders
- Kidney problems
- Any allergy
- Eye disorders
- Vitamin K deficiency
- High cholesterol
- History of cancer
- History of stroke
- History of surgery or need to have surgery
- Any complication during pregnancy
Special Considerations for Vitamin E:
There are some important facts about Vitamin E which one should know before using it.
- It is best with the meal containing fat as it is fat-soluble.
- It should be placed in dark and cool place as it loses potency when comes in the contact of air, heat and light.
- Those who are taking blood thinning tablets or aspirin should take Vitamin E under the supervision of a physician.
- Those who are taking the medication for lowering down the cholesterol level should not take a high dose of Vitamin E as it decreases the effect of other medications.
Adverse effects may also occur.
- High doses of Vitamin E may increase Vitamin K requirement and intake of Omega – 6 fatty acids may increase the requirement of Vitamin E.
It comes in many forms like oral capsule, oral solution, compounding powder, oral tablet, chewable, oral and topical oil.
1 – 3 years
4 – 8 years
9 – 13 years
14 years +
Higher doses mentioned below can also be taken safely but it’s better to take doctor’s advice before taking it.
1-3 years: 200 mg/day
4-8 years: 300 mg/day
9-13 years: 600 mg/day
14-18 years: 800 mg/day
18 years+ : 1,000 mg/day
Vitamin E and Skin:
Vitamin E consists the benefits for your skin as well. It works wonders for the dull and dehydrated skin as it is fat soluble and oil-soluble antioxidant. Topical application and intake of the vitamin in natural form or as a supplement can make your body and your skin look healthier.
Benefits of Vitamin E on Skin:
- It acts as a moisturizer which rejuvenates dehydrated skin.
- It helps in delaying skin aging and reduces chances to become aged, dull and wrinkled.
- It gives quick recovery from the sunburns.
- It lightens dark spots which occur due to aging and liver problems.
- It works as a cleansing agent. It removes impurities from the skin.
- It is an effective treatment for dry and cracked nails and cuticles.
- It helps in lightening the stretch marks post-delivery.
Vitamin E and Hair:
Vitamin E also works in the hair treatments as it is an antioxidant and helps in blood circulation to all body parts including the scalp. Below mentioned are the benefits of Vitamin E for hair:
- It stimulates hair growth
- It repairs hair follicles
- It prevents premature greying
- It gives lustrous and healthy hair
- It repairs split ends