How Much Vitamin E Your Body Needs For Optimal Health
Vitamin E is good for your skin, eyes, heart, and overall immunity. Being an antioxidant, vitamin E can fight free radicals and protect the body from diseases. Adults require 15 mg every day and much lesser for children. Natural sources like almonds, sunflower oil, broccoli, avocado, etc in the diet can meet your body's needs.
Time and again you have been told that nutrients are essential for the body. You can get them through the food you eat or, in severe cases, by having supplements. One such nutrient is vitamin E that is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and is also available as a dietary supplement.
Vitamin E is not just one compound; naturally occurring vitamin E comes in eight chemical forms – alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, delta-tocotrienol.
Vitamin E has a lot to offer to your body, especially because it behaves as an antioxidant. Let’s examine some of the health benefits of vitamin E.
Health Benefits Of Vitamin E
As mentioned earlier, vitamin E is an antioxidant. Antioxidants are important because it protects the body and cells from damage. Vitamin E has a lot of benefits that it can offer your body. Some of these benefits are as follows:
- Fights Free Radicals: Vitamin E with its antioxidant properties can fight free radicals that can cause damage to the cells. Fighting free radicals can improve the immune system and protect the body against serious health conditions, particularly for the aged.1
- Promotes Heart Health: Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory properties that can protect your heart health. It can help reduce cholesterol levels and platelet collection that may, otherwise, lead to arterial clotting.2
- Maintains Skin Elasticity: Exposure to too much ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun may cause oxidative stress that is not good for your skin. Vitamin E can protect your skin from aging symptoms like wrinkles.3
- Benefits The Eyes: Vitamin E can delay the formation of cataracts and may also reduce the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Therefore, it is beneficial for your eyes.4
- May Help Alzheimer Patients: Vitamin E may help patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease. The anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E help with the brain functions and may slow down memory loss and other effects linked to Alzheimer’s disease.5
- May Lower Cancer Risk: Free radicals can damage cells and can also make the body prone to cancer. Vitamin E can inhibit the growth of cancer cells by fighting the free radicals. Therefore, it may lower the risk of developing cancer.6
Apart from these benefits, vitamin E is also good for your hair growth, muscle strength, and is good for overall growth and development. Knowing the benefits of vitamin E, you know that it is vital for the body. To know how much of this vitamin you require, let’s take a look at the recommended intake.
Recommended Intake Of Vitamin E
The amount of vitamin E that your body needs depends on your age. This means that children and adults require different amounts of vitamin E. The average daily recommended intakes are listed below in milligrams (mg) and International Units (IU).7
|4 mg||4 mg|
|6 IU||6 IU|
|5 mg||5 mg|
|7.5 IU||7.5 IU|
|6 mg||6 mg|
|9 IU||9 IU|
|7 mg||7 mg|
|10.4 IU||10.4 IU|
|11 mg||11 mg|
|16.4 IU||16.4 IU|
Above 14 years
|15 mg||15 mg||15 mg||19 mg|
|22.4 IU||22.4 IU||22.4 IU||28.4 IU|
Sources Of Vitamin E
The body cannot produce vitamin E. Therefore, it is important to include foods that are rich in vitamin E in the diet to meet the body’s requirements. There are many fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils, that are rich in vitamin E. Some of these are listed below.
Vitamin E-Rich Fruits
- Kiwi Fruit
- Mamey Sapote
Vitamin E-Rich Vegetables
- Turnip Greens
- Beet Greens
- Butternut Squash
- Mustard Greens
Vitamin E-Rich Nuts And Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
- Pine nuts
Vitamin E-Rich Cooking Oils
- Wheat Germ Oil
- Sunflower Oil
- Almond Oil
- Cottonseed Oil
- Safflower Oil
All these foods and more will ensure that your body gets enough vitamin E. Natural sources of vitamin E are always recommended and generally do not have any side effects. In addition to these food sources, vitamin E is also available as supplements that should only be taken under the supervision of a doctor.
Effects Of Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E deficiency is rare in healthy people. It is difficult to tell if you are deficient in the vitamin because clear signs are not shown. However, if you don’t get your vitamin E in the right amount, there are several diseases you may be prone to, especially diseases where the fat is not absorbed or digested properly. Some of the health effects of vitamin E deficiency include the following:8
- Crohn’s disease
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Nerve and muscle damage leading to loss of body movement control and muscle weakness
- Vision problems
- Weak immune system
So, it is important to give your body enough vitamin E to avoid any of the listed health problems. But, is there a possibility to have too much vitamin E?
Too much of anything is not good; the same goes with vitamin E, too. Generally, having foods rich in vitamin E cannot be harmful. However, in the supplement form, high doses of vitamin E may cause an increase in the risk of bleeding. Therefore, those on vitamin E supplements should not take it without speaking to the health professional.
Therefore, having vitamin E, along with other nutrients, in moderation is the key to being healthy. Make sure you to include vitamin E-rich foods in your diet. Stick to the natural sources rather than supplements, which if taken without a prescription may have negative effects on the body.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Moriguchi, Satoru, and Mikako Muraga. “Vitamin E and immunity.” Vitamins & Hormones 59 (2000): 305-336.|
|2, 5, 6.||↑||Rizvi, Saliha, Syed T. Raza, Faizal Ahmed, Absar Ahmad, Shania Abbas, and Farzana Mahdi. “The role of vitamin E in human health and some diseases.” Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal 14, no. 2 (2014): e157.|
|3.||↑||Nachbar, F., and H. C. Korting. “The role of vitamin E in normal and damaged skin.” Journal of Molecular Medicine 73, no. 1 (1995): 7-17.|
|4.||↑||Vitamin E. American Optometric Association.|
|7, 8.||↑||Vitamin E. National Institutes of Health.|
Disclaimer: The content is purely informative and educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.