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Vitamin E: Health Benefits, Food Sources, Dosage, Side Effects And Precautions

Vitamin E is one of the essential nutrients required by our body. It keeps the immune system strong, helps in the formation of red blood cells, and prevents the blood from clotting [1] . Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound which is naturally found in many dietary sources and consuming those foods help in preventing vitamin E deficiency diseases and maintaining good health [2] .

Vitamin E is known for its antioxidant property and it helps in reducing the oxidative stress in our body and minimizing the chances of illnesses.

Health Benefits Of Vitamin E

There are a plethora of health benefits for vitamin E. Some of the health benefits are as follows:

1. Prevents ataxia: Ataxia is a coordination disorder due to brain, muscle and nerve damage. The antioxidant in vitamin E is very effective in preventing coordination disorders like ataxia and dyspraxia [3]

2. Lowers the chances of degenerative diseases: Vitamin E is an antioxidant which counteracts the oxidative stress in our body, hence preventing degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.

3. Prevents premenstrual syndrome (PMS): Excessive prolactin or abnormally elevated prolactin causes symptoms of PMS in women. Vitamin E normalises the effect of prolactin and prevents PMS [4] .

4. Improves kidney functions: High blood pressure is usually related to impaired kidney functions. The antioxidant in vitamin E ease the high blood pressure and improve the kidney functions in the body.

5. Treats granuloma annulare: Granuloma annulare is marked by redness, bumps and inflammation of the skin. Vitamin E counteracts inflammation and helps reduce many skin problems.

6. Improves vision and other eye diseases: Unstable molecules break down eye tissues and lowers the vision. Vitamin E helps improves vision and other ocular diseases because of its antioxidant property [5] .

7. Maintains muscle strength: As vitamin E is lipid-soluble, it dissolves in the membrane and prevents free radical attack, thus maintaining muscle strength.

8. Improves liver function: Vitamin E is very effective in treating non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and liver inflammation. It improves the functions of liver enzymes and prevents accumulation of fat in it.

9. Treats infertility in men: Vitamin E improves the quality of sperm and protects them from oxidative damage. In this way, it preserves male fertility and other related problems.

10. Treats early symptoms of Huntington's disease: Vitamin E prevents nerve cell membranes from damage by oxidative stress, thus preventing neurodegenerative disease like Huntington's disease [6] .

Food Sources Of Vitamin E

Some foods that include vitamin E are as follows [7] :

Food sources (100 g) Amount of vitamin E (mg)
Peanuts 8.33 mg
Sunflower oil 41.08 mg
Olive oil 14.35 mg
Canola oil 17.46 mg
Broccoli 0.78 mg
Spinach 2.03 mg
Tomatoes green 0.38 mg
Tuna 1 mg
Salmon sockeye 0.83 mg
Dry roasted sunflower seeds 26.10 mg
Cheese 0.26 mg
Kiwifruit 1.46 mg
Fortified instant breakfast cereals 0.51 mg
Egg yolks 2.58 mg
Mango 0.9 mg

Dosage Of Vitamin E

An adequate amount of any nutrient can help our body in multiple ways. For that, proper dosage is needed based on age, sex, gender and other health problems of a person. However, the recommended dosage of vitamin E per day according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is as follows [8] :

  • 15 mg for people above 14
  • 19 mg for lactating women
  • 4 mg for an infant of 6 months
  • 5 mg for an infant between 6 months to 1 year
  • 6 mg for an infant between age 1-3 years
  • 7 mg for an infant between age 4-8 years
  • 11 mg for an infant between age 9-13 years

Disclaimer: Please consult an expert before consumption.

Side Effects Of Vitamin E

As aforementioned, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which gets stored in our body's fat tissues. Taking a large amount of vitamin E by mouth can cause possible side effects. The common side effects of vitamin E are the following:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Issues in female ovaries and male testicles [9] .
  • Intestinal cramps
  • Rashes

Vitamin E Interactions

Vitamin E can interact with around 61 kinds of drugs. Be careful while consuming it with some medications or other dietary sources. However, it is always recommended to consult a doctor before its intake.

  • Vitamin E can moderately interact with ferrous sulfate, polysaccharide iron, and iron sucrose.
  • High dose of vitamin E can interact with chemotherapy drugs [10]
  • Moderate interaction with medication taken for the liver
  • Moderate interaction with slow blood clotting drugs [11]
  • Moderate interaction with drugs taken to lower down cholesterol
  • Do not take mineral oil with vitamin E.
  • Don't take vitamin E with alcohol.
  • Avoid taking vitamin E with grapefruit.

Precautions

  • Consult a doctor before having vitamin E during pregnancy as it may be harmful to the foetus.

Avoid taking vitamin E immediately after angioplasty.

  • Diabetic people should restrict the amount of vitamin E in their diet as it may enhance the risk of heart failure.
  • People with Vitamin K deficiency should consult a doctor before vitamin E consumption as it may worsen their clotting problems.
  • It may increase the chances or worsen the condition of prostate cancer in men.
  • People with a history of stroke should avoid it.
  • View Article References
    1. [1] Rizvi, S., Raza, S. T., Ahmed, F., Ahmad, A., Abbas, S., & Mahdi, F. (2014). The role of vitamin E in human health and some diseases. Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal, 14(2), e157.
    2. [2] Albahrani, A. A., & Greaves, R. F. (2016). Fat-soluble vitamins: clinical indications and current challenges for chromatographic measurement. The Clinical Biochemist Reviews, 37(1), 27.
    3. [3] Vitamin E Inadequacy in Humans: Causes and Consequences1,2
    4. [4] Dadkhah, H., Ebrahimi, E., & Fathizadeh, N. (2016). Evaluating the effects of vitamin D and vitamin E supplement on premenstrual syndrome: A randomized, double-blind, controlled trial. Iranian journal of nursing and midwifery research, 21(2), 159.
    5. [5] Taylor, H. R., Tikellis, G., Robman, L. D., McCarty, C. A., & McNeil, J. J. (2002). Vitamin E supplementation and macular degeneration: randomised controlled trial. Bmj, 325(7354), 11.
    6. [6] Johri, A., & Beal, M. F. (2012). Antioxidants in Huntington's disease. Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-Molecular Basis of Disease, 1822(5), 664-674.
    7. [7] USDA Food Composition Databases. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service.
    8. [8] Niki, E. (2015). Evidence for beneficial effects of vitamin E. The Korean journal of internal medicine, 30(5), 571.
    9. [9] Klein, E. A., Thompson, I., Tangen, C. M., Lucia, M. S., Goodman, P., Minasian, L. M., ... & Lieber, M. M. (2012). Vitamin E and the risk of prostate cancer: Updated results of the Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT).
    10. [10] Yasueda, A., Urushima, H., & Ito, T. (2016). Efficacy and interaction of antioxidant supplements as adjuvant therapy in cancer treatment: a systematic review. Integrative cancer therapies, 15(1), 17-39.
    11. [11] Dowd, P., & Zheng, Z. B. (1995). On the mechanism of the anticlotting action of vitamin E quinone. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 92(18), 8171-8175.

    Read more about: vitamin e antioxidant
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