Monday, 3 March 2014

Function and Benefits of Vitamin E

Vitamin E is also known as Tocopherol and is a fat soluble vitamin, which means that it doesn’t necessarily have to be consumed every day as the body stores what it doesn’t need straightaway for future use.  Vitamin E is mainly stored in the muscles and connective tissues.

Main Functions of Vitamin E

The main functions of Vitamin E include:

·         Helping to protect cells from free-radical-induced damage.
·         Acting as an anti-oxidant.
·         Preventing oxidation of fat compounds, Vitamin A, Selenium and some Vitamin C.

Benefits of Vitamin E

The main benefits to the body of Vitamin E include:

·        Helping to keep you looking younger by retarding cellular ageing due to oxidation.
·        Supplying oxygen to the body to give you more endurance.
·        Protecting your lungs against air pollution by working with Vitamin A.
·        Preventing and dissolving blood clots.
·        Preventing fat deposits on the artery walls.
·        Preventing narrowing of blood vessels.
·        Accelerating healing of burns and scars.
·        Helping to lower blood pressure by working as a diuretic.

Natural Sources of Vitamin E

You should be able to get all your Vitamin E requirements from your daily diet.  Natural food sources of Vitamin E include:

·        Wheat germ
·        Whole wheat
·        Whole grain cereals
·        Nuts and seeds
·        Soya beans
·        Vegetable oils, such as corn and olive oil
·        Leafy green vegetables
·        Broccoli
·        Eggs
·        Fish

Daily Recommended Allowance of Vitamin E

It is recommended that the daily amount of Vitamin E adults need is 3 mg a day for women and 4 mg a day for men.

Vitamin E Deficiencies

Deficiencies of Vitamin E are VERY RARE, but over a long period of time could include:

·        Destruction of red blood cells.
·        Anaemia.
·        Muscle degeneration.
·        Some reproductive disorders.
Side-effects of Too Much Vitamin E

Side effects are rare, but excess intake of Vitamin E over a period of time could result in:

·        Hypervitaminosis E – Vitamin E toxicity.  Because Vitamin E acts as an anticoagulant, it can increase the risk of bleeding problems (particularly with high doses of Vitamin E).  This could lead to increased haemorrhaging from aspirin or anti-coagulant medicines.
·        Hypervitaminosis E could also lead to a deficiency in Vitamin K as high doses of Vitamin E may counteract Vitamin K.
·        Hypervitaminosis E could also lead to a decrease in thyroid hormone production.

N.B.   It’s always advisable to consult your doctor or health care professional if you have any concerns regarding your health or nutrient intake.

Prices/discounts indicated are correct at the time this article was written/published.  E&OE.

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