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Vitamin E, What You Need To Know About The Potent Antioxidant

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in cell signaling, repair, and protection. It's also a potent antioxidant, meaning that it helps to protect your cells from damage caused by free radicals. There are eight different types of vitamin E: alpha-tocopherol (natural), gamma-tocopherol (natural), alpha-tocotrienol (natural), beta-tocotrienol (natural), delta-tocotrienol (synthetic), delta-tocopherol acetate (synthetic), alpha-tocopherol acetate succinate ester (synthetic) and methylated dl-alpha tocopheryl acetates succinate ester."

Causes of Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency can occur in certain populations, including people with Crohn's disease, cystic fibrosis, and other conditions that affect the small intestine. In addition to lacking vitamin E in their diets, some people may not be able to absorb it properly due to conditions such as celiac disease or pancreatic insufficiency.

Vitamin E deficiency is rare in developed countries where there is ready access to nutritious foods containing vitamin E. However, if you are concerned about your vitamin E intake or absorption because you have a chronic illness that affects the digestive system (such as Crohn’s disease), speak with your doctor about whether taking supplements might be appropriate for you.

Vitamin E Deficiency Symptoms

What are the symptoms of vitamin E deficiency?

Although rare in the United States, vitamin E deficiency can lead to a series of serious symptoms. The most common include:

  • Fatigue and hair loss – Severe lack of Vitamin E can cause fatigue and hair loss, while mild deficiencies result in less severe symptoms such as muscle weakness.

  • Anemia – This condition occurs when red blood cells die or are destroyed much faster than they are created. It can be caused by low iron levels, but if you’re experiencing anemia without having any other iron-related symptoms like fatigue or pale skin tone (as well as unexplained blood loss), it’s worth discussing with your doctor whether low Vitamin E levels might be a factor too.* Heart problems – People who have heart disease may feel shortness of breath or chest pain after eating foods high in fat, including fried foods or baked goods made with vegetable oils.* Nerve damage – Because nerves need adequate vitamin E for proper function, nerve damage is one possible symptom associated with severe deficiency.*

Vitamin E Deficiency in Newborns

The most common cause of vitamin E deficiency in newborns is a lack of the vitamin in their mother's diet. A mother who does not eat enough vitamin-rich foods or take a prenatal vitamin may be at risk of having an infant with a low level of vitamin E.

Another cause of this deficiency is a genetic mutation that prevents cells from absorbing or storing the nutrient properly. This type of genetic mutation can also lead to neurological problems later on in life, such as Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease.

Vitamin E Benefits

  • Protects against heart disease. The American Heart Association recommends that adults get 400 IU of vitamin E daily, while the National Institutes of Health recommends a minimum total dietary intake equivalent to 15 milligrams (mg) per day (about 22 IU).

  • Protects against cancer. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry found that vitamin E may help prevent cancer by inhibiting tumor growth and metastasis.

  • Helps with skin health. Vitamin E is an antioxidant nutrient that protects your skin from environmental damage caused by exposure to ultraviolet radiation from sunlight, pollution, cigarette smoke, and other sources.

  • Helps with eye health. Studies indicate that getting at least 400 International Units (IUs) of vitamin E per day may reduce your risk for age-related macular degeneration (ARMD), cataracts, and glaucoma by up to 35 percent

Vitamin E Sources

Vitamin E is found in many foods, including vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, and some fruits and vegetables. It's also present in wheat germ oil and whole grains. You can get vitamin E from eating a wide range of foods that are rich in it.

  • Nuts are a good source of vitamin E—cashews have the highest amount of this nutrient per ounce (28 milligrams), followed by almonds (21 mg). Other nuts with high levels include Brazil nuts (17 mg), hazelnuts (15 mg), and pecans (14 mg).

  • Seeds such as sunflower seeds provide high amounts of vitamin E per ounce: 14 milligrams for sunflower seeds vs 10 milligrams for sesame seeds or 8 milligrams for pumpkin seeds.* Seeds like chia seeds contain antioxidant properties which help protect against oxidative stress.* Hemp hearts are another great option; they’re edible hemp seed hearts that contain over 40% protein plus all the essential amino acids along with healthy fats and fiber – all those nutrients plus omega 3s make these little guys one superfood!

How Much Vitamin E Do You Need?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin E for adults is around 15 milligrams (mg). However, the average person consumes about 10 times this amount through their diet. This can be attributed to the fact that vitamin E is found in many common foods, including vegetable oils like soybean oil and sunflower oil. One important thing to note is that not all foods are good sources of vitamin E. The best sources are actually seeds and nuts, like sunflower seeds and almonds respectively.

Vitamin E supplements come in both synthetic forms as well as natural forms with mixed results on health outcomes. There has been some research linking higher systemic intakes of alpha-tocopherol — one type of synthetic form — with an increased risk for prostate cancer progression among men who have already been treated for prostate cancer; however, more research needs to be done before any conclusions can be drawn about whether or not taking supplements will help prevent disease or make it worse if you already have it.*

Toxicity and Side Effects of Vitamin E

Vitamin E toxicity is rare and is most likely to occur in children and adults with liver disease. Symptoms of vitamin E toxicity include nausea, vomiting, and headaches. The risk of acute overdose can be fatal especially if it's combined with other vitamins or supplements that contain high doses of Vitamin E (such as multivitamins).

Vitamin E side effects are usually mild and don't require medical attention unless they persist or cause concern for you or your doctor. If you're concerned about potential side effects from taking a certain amount of Vitamin E per day, talk to your doctor before making any changes to your dosage regimen.

Research has shown that an adequate intake of vitamin e has many health benefits, including protecting your cells from the aging process

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, meaning it can help protect your body from the damage caused by free radicals. According to research, vitamin E helps in preventing heart disease and cancer, as well as eye diseases and diabetes.

Vitamin E is found in plant oils and seeds—it’s also added to many foods during manufacturing because of its antioxidant properties. It may be one of the most potent natural antioxidants available today.


In summary, it’s clear that vitamin E has many benefits for your health. However, you should also be aware of some potential side effects and toxicity issues that can occur when taking high doses of this nutrient. It is important to check with your doctor before taking vitamin e supplements or adding supplemental vitamin e into your diet.

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