Your Complete Guide to Vitamin E
Most of us know that vitamin E is important. But most of us also can’t name anything that vitamin E does, or how much Vitamin E we should be taking. So what’s the big deal with vitamin E? Find out today in our complete guide.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is an important vitamin that acts as an antioxidant in the body. That means it helps protect the body from free radicals, which are often associated with an increased risk of disease and aging.
Vitamin E also supports healthy immune system activity and encourages the body’s natural production of red blood cells.
A few decades ago, scientists believed that vitamin E was a powerful “cure-all”. Giving patients a vitamin E supplement seemed to cure up many common ailments and diseases. Some doctors even believed it could cure heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
Modern scientific testing has weakened vitamin E’s status, although it’s still regarded as an important vitamin. The Arthritis Foundation claims that “current research has failed to show that it helps prevent cancer, heart disease, or arthritis.”
Despite what you might think from the name, vitamin E isn’t actually a single vitamin: it’s a series of fat-soluble vitamins that have active roles throughout the body. There are 8 members of the vitamin E family, all of which are antioxidants. Those antioxidants include four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta tocopherols) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta).
Our body naturally maintains alpha-tocopherol, which makes it the most common type of vitamin E found in our blood and body tissues. It’s also thought to have the greatest nutritional benefits.
Foods that Contain Vitamin E
Here are some of the Vitamin E-rich foods that you may already be consuming on a daily basis:
— Sunflower seeds (82% daily recommended intake of vitamin E in one quarter cup)
— Spinach (25% in one cup)
— Chili peppers (16.5% in two teaspoons)
— Almonds (25% in one quarter cup)
— Avocado (21% in one cup)
— Peanuts (20% in one quarter cup)
— Shrimp (17% in one 4 ounce serving)
— Broccoli (15% in one cup)
How Much Vitamin E Do You Need?
The recommended dietary allowance for vitamin E is 15 milligrams, or 22.4 IU for adults.
Some of us get a sufficient amount of vitamin E from dietary sources. Many people, however, need to take vitamin E supplements to achieve their daily value. If you have Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or liver disease, for example, then you may need extra vitamin E because your body will not produce enough of it on its own.
Some bodybuilders also take higher levels of vitamin E because antioxidants play an important role in muscle growth. They prevent the breakdown of muscles. That’s why some nutritionists recommend taking an antioxidant supplement before or after your workout. This can lower free radicals throughout your body, giving you better gains.
Being deficient in vitamin E has been shown to lead to serious health problems, including poor nerve conduction, anemia, and neurological problems.
There are three types of people more at-risk for vitamin E deficiency than others. Those people include:
— Infants With Very Low Birth Weight, Or Infants Who Were Born Premature
— Anyone Who Cannot Absorb Dietary Fat
— Those With Rare Disorders Of Fat Metabolism
Ultimately, vitamin E deficiency is rare in most parts of the world. The vast majority of us get sufficient vitamin E from our dietary sources.
In any case, the recommended dietary allowance is 22.4 IU for adults, although the weakest vitamin E supplements start with dosages of 100 IU. Talk to your doctor to find out which amount is right for you.
How Much Vitamin E is Too Much?
Most guidelines put the upper limit for vitamin E intake at 1,000 mg, or 1,500 IU. Anything more than that could increase your risk of bleeding. Vitamin E can be particularly dangerous when you combine it with aspirin or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
You should also avoid vitamin E supplements if you’re currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation treatments.
Natural Versus Synthetic Vitamin E
One of the most important things to consider when buying a vitamin E supplement is whether it’s sourced from natural or synthetic compounds.
Both natural and synthetic vitamin E supplements are technically vitamin E, although they’re processed by the body in different ways. Your liver only treats about 50% of synthetic vitamin E as natural vitamin E, which means you need twice as much synthetic vitamin E to get the same benefits. The rest of the synthetic vitamin E is excreted through your urine.
The best way to differentiate between the two types of vitamin E is to look at the bottle label:
— Synthetic vitamin E is labelled as dl-alpha tocopheryl acetate or dl-alpha docopheral
— Natural vitamin E is labeled as d-alpha tocopherol (there’s no “l” after the “d”)
Natural vitamin E is typically processed from vegetable oils. Synthetic vitamin E is made in a lab.
How to Buy Vitamin E
You can buy vitamin E supplements from health food stores, pharmacies, grocery stores, and online retailers. It’s one of the most common vitamin supplements in the world today.
A one month supply of vitamin E should cost around $7 to $15, although it may be cheaper depending on your daily dose. Walmart sells Jamieson’s vitamin E tablets, for example, at the following prices and dosages:
— Vitamin E 100 IU: $9.47 (100 capsules)
— Vitamin E 200 IU: $10.97 (100 capsules)
— Vitamin E 800 IU: $19.97 (50 capsules)
When shopping for vitamin E supplements, there are two major things you need to compare: IU content and synthetic versus natural. See the section above to discover how to make sure you’re buying natural or synthetic vitamin E capsules.
Vitamin E Benefits
Our organisms could not resist without vitamins and minerals. These essential nutrients assure the body's nourishment for the organs to function correctly. Those who are trying to lose weight should consume only nutrients that dissolve fats.
When it comes to vitamins, we should talk about the fat soluble ones, such as Vitamin E.
Including a group of eight fat-soluble compounds, Vitamin E contains lots of tocopherols and tocotrienols.
It features many biological activities, such as enzymatic activities, gene expression, and neurological functions, yet the most appreciated remains the antioxidant one. It prevents the propagation of free radicals in tissues and organs.
Vitamin E for Weight Loss
As said before. vitamin E has an amazing ability to dissolve fats. Since it is such an amazing antioxidant, this vitamin protects the cellular membranes and cholesterol's oxidation.
Due to the fact that physical efforts improve the speed at which your body drops weight, health supplements become a must for each person who's looking to become slimmer. Vitamin E is one of those supplements, since it improves the way muscles function. More than this, it is sometimes used for physical endurance, energy boosting and muscle repair.
If you're not interested in supplementing your diet, try eating more eggs, liver, nuts, cold-pressed vegetable oils, spinach and other dark-green leafy vegetables, sunflower seeds and avocados.
Other Uses of Vitamin E
If you are suffering from cardiovascular disease and you have your arteries hardened, use vitamin E and remedy the situation. Besides this, the nutrient functions against high blood pressure, protecting the heart from heart attack. Diabetes and cancers are other dangerous diseases vitamin E takes care of. Central nervous diseases' like Alzheimer, dementia, Parkinson’s and epilepsy are conditions against which vitamin E together with proper medication function perfectly. Some people use it against aging.
Vitamin E is also used for cataracts, asthma, respiratory infections, skin disorders, aging skin, sunburns, cystic fibrosis, infertility, impotence, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), peptic ulcers, and to prevent allergies.
Luckily, vitamin E deficiency is rare. It might occur in those suffering from certain genetic disorders or in children that have been prematurely born. These need to use health supplements that contain lots of vitamin E.
Vitamin E Side Effects and Safety
If used in high doses, vitamin E is considered to be unsafe. If you suffer from diabetes or cardiovascular disease, it is advised to use under 400 IU/day. Scientific studies indicate that doses that are too high increase the possibility of dangerous side effects and the chance of death.
When it comes to pregnant and breastfeeding mothers, they should consume the product in lower dosages.
It doesn't matter how many vitamins and supplements you are taking, if you don't keep up a healthy lifestyle, you won't manage to lose weight or reach your other health goals. Therefore, make sure to consume only healthy foods such as raw vegetables and fruits, lean meats, fibers. Exercise as much as you can. If you are not a sporty person, take advantage from a walk in the park.