Nutrition Made Simple

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN E AND ITS TOXICITY

June 05 2021

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN E AND ITS TOXICITY

HEALTH BENEFITS OF VITAMIN E AND ITS TOXICITY

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. Being an antioxidant, it protects the cells from free radical damage. The nutrient is naturally present in many foods. Furthermore, it is available as a dietary supplement. Being a fat-soluble vitamin, it gets stored in our body and is used as and when needed.

There are eight different compounds described by vitamin E. The most active compound in humans is Alpha-tocopherol.  Let us now explore the health benefits offered by vitamin E.

Longer cell life

We all have seen rust on our bikes and cars. That rust is the result of the oxidation reaction. Now imagine a similar reaction inside your body. Similar oxidation takes place in our body by the molecules that are called free radicals. These molecules accelerate the ageing of our cells. They weaken or break our healthy cells leading to various heart diseases.

Now how are these free radicals formed? These free radicals are formed from normal body processes. While causing damage to our cells, they shorten their life. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. It reduces free radical damage and slows ageing. 

Much research is done to explore the health benefits of vitamin E in various degenerative diseases like hardening of arteries, high blood pressure, heart disease and cancer. 

As per the Mayo clinic, these studies have failed to show a reduction in incidences of these conditions. Also, since vitamin E deficiency is rare, there is a lack of proven medical uses of this vitamin.

Extra protection

Now this vitamin provides you with extra protection from various environmental and lifestyle risk factors. It has been believed that free radicals in our body can be increased by some conditions like cigarette smoking, air pollution and high exposure to UV rays from the sun.

Repair damaged cells

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that can help in the repair of damaged cells and tissues. Various food sources can offer you high levels of vitamin E. 

Vitamin E supplements

It's unlikely to have a vitamin E overdose from food sources. That being said a high dose of vitamin E supplement may land you in vitamin E toxicity. Thus leading to side effects. One such side effect is an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

If you are considering beginning with vitamin E supplements, just keep in mind that its dosage should not increase 1000 International units(IUs) per day. The recommended daily allowance of vitamin E is 15 milligrams for ages 14 and up.

Forms of vitamin E

Now when you will search for a vitamin E supplement, you will find two types of vitamin E. One is d alpha-tocopherol and the other is dl-alpha-tocopherol. The first one is a natural form and the latter is the synthetic firm. Also, the natural form is considered to be more active. And that's the reason the RDA for the natural form of vitamin E is 22.4 IUs whereas for the synthetic form it is 33.3/IUs.

So before buying the vitamin E supplement, check out its label and find out the form of vitamin E. Also, the information on the label will help to make sure that you are taking an appropriate dosage of vitamin E.

Ways to get your vitamin E

Following is the list of food sources that are rich in vitamin E:

  • Dry roasted sunflower seeds
  • dry roasted hazelnuts
  • dry roasted peanuts
  • boiled spinach
  • broccoli, chopped and boiled
  • kiwifruit
  • mango, sliced
  • tomato, raw

Also check out Alvizia Hair, skin and nail supplement that provides the needed vitamin E. 

Extra vitamin E

You can easily get enough vitamin E by just adding a tablespoon of wheat germ oil to a recipe. Also, you can have sunflowers seeds as part of your snacks. This will provide you with nearly 20 mg of vitamin E. And that's more than what your body requires each day. Alternatively, you can also make sals containing kale or spinach and some hazelnuts to get a crunchy boost of vitamin E. So now it's time that you get a bit creative and reap the benefits of vitamin E in your diet.

Vitamin E toxicity: all you need to know

Surely vitamin E is an essential vitamin which plays a crucial role in our body. Just like other vitamins, high levels of vitamin E can cause its toxicity referred to as Vitamin E toxicity. 

One of the key functions of vitamin E is to keep your blood vessels dilated. Thus it prevents the formation of clots inside them. The daily value of vitamin A is 15 mg per day. Since it is a fat-soluble vitamin, it tends to build inside our body. Hence it becomes more important to keep a check on its dosage especially when you are on a vitamin E supplement.

The upper limit for vitamin E intake is 100 mg. This means that upto 1000 mg per day, there won't be any serious complications. 

Who needs a vitamin E supplement?

Well, many people consider taking vitamin E supplements to improve their immune system, reducing the risk of cancer, strengthening hair, skin and nails. However, it's true that until and unless you are deficient for vitamin E, taking Vitamin E supplement may provide little benefits. Also, if you have a history of Crohn's disease or cystic fibrosis, then you might consider taking vitamin E supplement. Such disorders increase the risk of vitamin E deficiency because they affect the body's ability to digest and absorb food. People on a low-fat diet also tend to have vitamin E deficiency. In such cases, it becomes important to have a vitamin E supplement.

Potential drug interactions

Well, there are drug reactions when the normal levels of vitamin E are consumed. However, high doses of vitamin E can interact with blood thinners like aspirin and warfarin.

Apart from blood thinners, it can also interact with tamoxifen. Tamoxifen is a drug used to treat breast cancer. Also, drug interaction with cyclosporine has been reported. Cyclosporine is immunosuppressant prescribed to people who have undergone an organ transplant.


This article is the sole opinion of the author and Alvizia Healthcare holds no responsibility for the content. *

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