Vitamin E, the fat-soluble antioxidant is a highly significant vitamin that is exclusively obtained from diet and supplements. This incredible vitamin collectively termed as tocochromanols is a group of 8 fat soluble compounds comprising of 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. Each of these are further subdivided into alpha α, beta β, gamma γ and delta δ classes. Among the tocopherols, the alpha- and gamma-tocopherols are detected in the red blood cells and serum whereas Beta- and delta-tocopherols are found in minute concentrations in the blood plasma.
Vitamin E plays a key role in scavenging free radicals which may potentially harm the cells, tissues and various organs of the body. Being lipid soluble in nature, these vitamins are stored in the fatty tissues of the body and hence are not required to be taken regularly.
Being one of the essential fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin E is extremely beneficial in the healthy functioning of bodily organs. It holds high significance in treating a multitude of ailments and immunising the body against a host of microbial infections.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. During fat oxidation, it inhibits the formation of reactive oxygen molecules and shields the body cells from any damage caused by the free radicals, thus lowering the risk of various forms of cancer in the lungs, oral cavity, stomach, rectal and prostate gland.
Various scientific studies strongly suggest vitamin E being highly significant in managing diabetes, preventing and treating heart problems including high blood pressure, heart attack, chest pain and hardening of the arteries.
The potent antioxidative property of the E vitamin holds high significance in dermatology and has been used since ages. Vitamin E used in the form of oil, serum or supplement acts as a skin battalion and helps to shield the skin against various skin problems including inflammation, skin ageing and sun damage. It also reduces the appearance of scars and keeps the skin moisturized and hydrated.
Vitamin E is the key ingredient for a healthy scalp and nourished hair. When used topically on the scalp, it creates a protective barrier and locks the moisture within, thereby preventing the hair to look dull and frizzy. It also reduces oxidative stress and prevents hair fall.
Vitamin E plays a key role in the production of prostaglandins which is required for controlling the blood pressure and regulating muscle contraction.
This potent antioxidant promotes physical endurance, increases the energy levels of the body and reduces fatigue of muscle after an intense workout or physical training.
Several researches also recommend use of vitamin E beneficial for treating asthma, respiratory ailments, infertility, impotency, cystic fibrosis, cataract and allergies.
Additionally, it is also found to be significant against brain and nervous system disorders. It reduces the risks of Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, epilepsy, rheumatoid arthritis, restless legs syndrome and Huntington’s chorea.
Mother Nature has provided us with a bountiful amount of natural food sources loaded with vitamin E that suffices our daily requirements.
Here are a few food sources that are abundant in vitamin E:
Green Leafy Vegetables like spinach, broccoli, tomato, turnip, olives, avocados, green beans, bell peppers etc.
Fruits like mango, raspberry, cranberry and kiwi.
Nuts like almond, hazelnut, peanut, brazil nuts, filberts etc.
Fortified foods like cereals, fruit juices, spreads, margarines etc.
Plants Oils like sunflower oil, corn oil, wheat germ oil, soya bean oil, safflower oil etc.
Animal sources like herring, tuna, sardines etc.
Vitamin E being an excellent source of antioxidant has multitude of benefits. Rarely observed, but continuous lack of this vitamin may cause severe fatalities. It is generally reported in people who have acquired or inherited a type of condition that restricts their ability to absorb this vitamin through diet or their body inhibits fat metabolism. The lack of this incredible vitamin from one’s regular diet may also exhibit some severe symptoms like hindered immune response, neurological and neuromuscular problems, haemolytic anaemia and retinopathy.
If not treated on time, the symptoms may lead to total blindness, impaired thinking ability, heart disease or permanent damage of nerves.
This is a speech disorder caused due to a neural injury of the motor component in the brain resulting in difficulty to pronounce words.
A muscular problem where the muscle fibres do not function smoothly resulting in cramps, spasms and stiffness.
An eye disease which is caused due to the abnormal flow of blood to the retina of the eye leading to impaired vision.
A blood disorder in people already suffering from anaemia, i.e. lower than normal amount of red blood cell in the body. Haemolysis happens when the red blood cells are destroyed at faster rate than it is formed.
Several researches also reported the lack of vitamin E in infants who had premature birth and adults suffering from liver problem, Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis etc.
Being a quintessential ingredient for a well-balanced diet, it showers one with a host of benefits when taken in an adequate amount through food. As vitamin E is lipid soluble, it is generally accumulated in the body and sometimes not entirely washed out through the system.
Consuming higher dose of this E vitamin through supplements may lead to accumulation to a toxic level leading to excessive bleeding, nausea, gonadal dysfunction, blurred vision, fatigue, bruising, stomach cramps etc.
Studies strongly advocate intake of Vitamin E in adults as approximately 8 -10 mg of tocopherol from the natural food sources per day but if a person is suffering from any cardiac ailments or diabetes, they are recommended to avoid consuming more than 400 IU in a day.
Though an extremely beneficial nutrient, it is always encouraged to take this vitamin within the recommended dietary allowance to boost your body only with the incredible benefits and evade from getting any side effects.