September 13 2021
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and is found in many foods, like meat, fruits, vegetables, cereals, vegetable oils, etc. it is a group of 8 compounds that are soluble in fats and function as antioxidants and provides protection to the cells from any type of damage. Natural forms of vitamin E include alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-tocopherol and alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-tocotrienol). All these forms have different biological activity, out of which only alpha-tocopherol form is suitable for humans.
Mechanism of action
The antioxidant content of vitamin E protects the cells of the body from free radicals (the molecules containing unshared electrons). Free radicals can damage the cells and may even lead to cardiovascular and carcinogenic disorders. The unshared electrons present in the free radicals possess high energy and hence, react rapidly with oxygen and form ROS (reactive oxygen species). So, vitamin E can protect our cells from damage that can be caused by free radicals (ROS formation).
Sources of vitamin E
- Almonds: almonds contain a high amount of vitamin E, i.e. 25.63 grams per serving (100 grams) of almonds. They also contain other nutrients like- proteins (21.15 g), potassium (733 mg), magnesium (270 mg), and fiber (12.5 g) per 100-gram serving. They can be eaten in the form of roasted snacks, can be added to the morning cereal and baked goods.
- Peanuts: a popular snack, peanuts are a great source of vitamin E (4.93 mg per 100 g serving of dry roasted type). Per 100 g of peanuts, we get 8.4 g of fiber, 14.355 mg niacin, 634 mg potassium, and 24.35 g of proteins. However, it is advised to consume plain or roasted peanuts rather than flavored ones.
- Avocados: avocados are a superfood that contains plenty of nutrients. It also comes with the goodness of 2.07 mg of vitamin E. avocados are a healthy addition to your diet, provided it also contains vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, B-6, vitamin D, and many other nutrients that are good for the overall health of a person.
- Spinach: when we talk about spinach, it is not just limited to one benefit. Spinach contains folic acid, fiber, potassium, vitamin A, proteins, healthy fats, and vitamin E too. 100 gram serving of spinach can provide you 2.03 mg of vitamin E, which is good for the health.
- Beet greens or leaves: beetroot is commonly consumed by many people around the globe, but, no one knows about the nutrition its leaves carry. These leaves can be used in salads, or can even be consumed after we sauté them in some oil. Beet greens contain vitamin E (1.81 mg), vitamin A, vitamin C (24.9 mg), fiber (2.9 g), iron (1.9 mg), and calcium (114 mg) per 100-gram serving.
- Sunflower seeds: sunflower seeds are packed with the goodness of fiber, proteins, vitamin E, potassium, proteins, magnesium, and zinc. They contain 35.17 mg of vitamin E per 100 gram of serving. They can be consumed as a snack, in salads, oatmeals, and even yogurt.
- Oils: certain oils like wheat germ oil, rice bran oil, grape seed oil, safflower oil contain high amounts of vitamin E, which can be beneficial for your health.
Supplementation of vitamin E can also be added to the dietary intake, if not getting it from natural sources. For example, alvizia’s multivitamins contain high amounts of vitamin E which is beneficial for the overall health of the consumer.
Benefits of vitamin E
- Good for skin: vitamin E oil can be used as an overnight treatment for aging skin. It can be applied before going to bed as it allows it to absorb properly. Many serums and oils that contain vitamin E are recommended by dermatologists for an overall treatment for the face. It can also be used as a treatment for dark spots and blemishes. Vitamin E is widely known for its anti-aging properties which is why most of the anti-aging creams contain some quantity of it. Oral supplementations can also be a good add on to the skincare routine.
- Eye health: cataract and age-related macular degeneration are the most commonly observed eye disorders in aged people, and might even lead to loss of vision. Oxidative stress, which is formed by free radicals, is considered to be one of the reasons that may cause these conditions. So, antioxidant nutrients like vitamin E can be used to prevent these eye disorders. Many research studies have suggested that consumption of vitamin E (both in the form of supplements and natural dietary intake) is linked to a lower risk of cataracts in older age, i.e. people who consume vitamin E are less likely to develop cataracts.
- Cognitive functions: the human brain has a higher consumption rate of oxygen and polyunsaturated acids in the cell membranes of the neurons. Free radicals may also damage these neurons if left untreated for a longer period and may cause a decline in cognitive functions and develop neurogenerative disorders. Consumption of vitamin E has been linked to a better cognitive function in many research studies.
Deficiency of vitamin E
Deficiency of vitamin E is a very rare condition and usually develops due to an underlying health condition. The common symptoms are: visual disturbance, muscular pain, fatigue, fever, difficulty in walking, etc. adding some sources of vitamin E to your dietary intake can make this condition better, and even prevent it. Nuts, seeds, whole grains, leafy vegetables, fruits are some of the superfoods that may provide relief in the symptoms by actively increasing the levels of vitamin E in your body. Sometimes, doctors also recommend using supplements that are usually safe to take.