Wondrous Vitamin E and its medicinal value

Vitamin E is an important antioxidant that most people obtain adequately from food. People with deficiencies, however, can benefit from vitamin E supplements to boost immunity, and promote healthy eyes and skin.

Most people do not need to take vitamin E supplements. There is not a lot of scientific evidence to suggest that taking supplements can improve health in people who do not have a deficiency. If you think you do not get enough Vitamin E from your food, the supplement will be able to offer treatments against some ailments.

Why vitamin E is touted as the good vitamin

Vitamin E has tocopherol, a naturally occurring chemical element. Tocopherols inhibit oxidation which causes the fat in the body to go rancid and triggers the depletion of vitamin A and D. They help maintain the health of muscle tissue and the red blood cells. Tocopherols are also known to keep the lungs healthy and guard them against environmental pollution. They control the synthesis of DNA and vitamin C.

They are quite different to fat soluble vitamins that accumulate in the body and can become toxic when consumed in excess. Tocopherols do not stay in the body, any excess that is consumed is excreted through the stools.

Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis is a genetic disorder that can affect the lungs, liver, pancreas, intestine and kidneys. If you have this disease, caused by a defective gene, then your intestines may not be able to properly absorb nutrients from the food that you eat. This can lead to a deficiency in vitamin E and cause symptoms as a result.

In patients with cystic fibrosis, vitamin E supplements are necessary to make up for shortfalls in the diet. Deficiency can lead to nervous system disorders and problems with thinking, memory and blood disorders.

But there may be another advantage that the supplement can offer. Vitamin E is a strong antioxidant. There is a belief that it may be able to protect lung tissue against the damage of oxidation, which is common in cystic fibrosis.

However, a lot more studies are required in this area for more conclusive evidence.

Digestive Problems

Patients who have digestive problems may not be able to absorb vitamin E effectively from food. Since vitamin E is fat soluble, patients with celiac disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Crohn's disease etcetera, cannot absorb vitamin E. This often leads to a deficiency. Symptoms like degeneration of the retina, weakness of the muscles, poor nerve impulse transmission etcetera, are caused by the vitamin E deficiency.

Vitamin E supplements may help such patients find relief from the symptoms of deficiency. Vitamin E supplements may be successful in raising the levels of the vitamin in the body to normal levels.

Other potential benefits of vitamin E

Some people take Vitamin E supplements because they believe it is good for heart health and helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Some people also take it because they think Vitamin E has anti-cancer effects.

Studies show that vitamin E supplements have remarkable results on people suffering from atherosclerosis. This is an age-related problem where the arteries stiffen and become significantly clogged with fatty plaque, enough to disrupt the circulatory system. Vitamin E in the diet can slow this down.

If your food does not give you all the vitamin E you need, you can make up the balance by taking supplements.

Clearly, taking vitamin E in excess may not be good for health. In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that rather than preventing strokes and heart attacks, vitamin E may actually increase your risk of a stroke. Individuals who are prescribed blood thinning medication should consult their doctor before taking vitamin E supplements, as it has anticlotting properties.

Overall, avoid taking pills of vitamin E more than the recommended upper limit per day, to avoid harm. The recommended dose of vitamin E for adults is 15 mg a day (or 22.4 IU) for women and men. Breastfeeding women should take 19 mg a day. This is the recommended amount.

The upper limit that you should not exceed is 1000 mg a day for 19-year-old adults and up. But it is recommended that you take only up to 300 mg of supplements per day and the rest you will get from food.

As a beauty aid

Vitamin E is endorsed as an excellent remedy for combating stretch marks. It is suggested that women begin rubbing vitamin E into their belly in the first trimester of their pregnancy. Doing so prevents the stretched skin from scarring and from stretch marks from appearing.

It is used to combat age-related fine lines and spots. A little dab of vitamin E oil applied topically is said to regenerate the skin and stimulate skin cells into producing new and healthy skin cells.

Foods rich in vitamin E

The best food sources for vitamin E are eggs, mayonnaise (traditional version), margarine, vegetable oils, seeds, nuts and fortified flour and cereals.

Article by Juana
Juana is a freelance writer, with years of experience, creating content for varied online portals. She holds a degree in English Literature and has worked as a teacher and as a soft skill trainer. An avid reader, she writes on a variety of topics ranging from health, travel, education and personality development.

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