Vitamin E – A Chain-Breaking Antioxidant

Vitamin E Overview

Vitamin E refers to a group of eight fat-soluble compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols of the many different forms of vitamin E.  Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol) that have varying levels of biological activity. Vitamin E is thought to function primarily as a chain-breaking antioxidant that prevents the propagation of lipid peroxidation.

Nuts Contain Vitamin E
Nuts Contain Vitamin E

Sources of Vitamin E

The richest sources are plant oils such as soya, corn and olive oil. Other good sources include nuts, seeds, wheat germ found in cereals and cereal products. More foods that contain vitamin E include eggs, fortified cereals, fruit, green leafy vegetables (such as spinach), meat, nut oils, poultry, vegetable oils (corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower), argan oil, olive oil, wheat germ oil, and whole grains. Cooking and storage may destroy some of the vitamin E in foods.

Body Need of Vitamin E

Body requirement of Vitamin E shall preferably be made up by daily diet. The body requirement is as follows:-

Oils
Oils
  • 4mg a day for men
  • 3mg a day for women

Symptoms of Vitamin E Deficiency

A deficiency that lasts a long time may also cause liver and kidney problems. Symptoms of serious vitamin E deficiency include:-

  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Vision problems
  • Unsteady walking

Health Benefits of Vitamin E

  • Cancer. Eating foods high in vitamin E and other antioxidants may help prevent cancer.
  • Heart Disease. Communities with higher levels of vitamin E in their bodies have a lower risk of heart disease.
  • Reduce Sun Sensitivity. People who took the vitamins became significantly less sensitive to the sun.
  • Eye Health. Vitamin E seems to protect against developing macular degeneration (AMD). AMD is the leading cause of legal blindness in people
  • Infertility. Helping males with infertility problems.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease. Helps preventing Alzheimer’s disease . 
  • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). May help lower the risk of (COPD) chronic obstructive pulmonary disease by about 10 percent in both smokers and non-smokers.
  • Breast Cancer. A pre-cursor of vitamin E may protect against a type of breast cancer. 
  • Arthritis. Helps in reducing joint pain
  • Premenstrual Symptoms. Help in reducing pain
  • Anti-Aging. May extend the life-span of restricted groups of men.
  • Prostate cancer.  Helps in Prostate cancer prevention, and preventing recurrence of prostate cancer.
  • Immune System. Enhances the immune system of seniors.

Vitamin E Supplementation Concerns

Concerns have been raised about the safety of vitamin E supplementation, particularly in high doses. An increased risk of bleeding has been proposed, particularly in patients taking blood-thinning agents such as warfarin, heparin, or aspirin, and in patients with vitamin K deficiency.

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