Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and can improve health. Free radicals are often found in the air we breathe, and once these are absorbed in the body, they can cause various illnesses and even speed up aging. Hence, having enough Vitamin E in our body is important, since it helps fight off the horrible effects of free radicals.
Unfortunately, there are still a lot of things that people don’t understand about Vitamin E. Most are familiar with Vitamin C or Vitamin D, but they don’t always realize the important role of Vitamin E in a balanced diet. Here’s a look at nine facts that’ll help you get more familiar with Vitamin E.
1. There Are Eight Forms Of Vitamin E
Vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms, with two separate “families.” The tocopherol family includes alpha, beta, gamma, and delta-Tocopherol. The tocotrienol family also includes alpha, beta, delta, and gamma varieties. When it comes to effectiveness, alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically active form of Vitamin E and only contains one isomer. That said, our bodies get more benefit from tocotrienols.
2. Vitamin E Is A Powerful Antioxidant
Vitamin E limits the production of free radicals which can cause oxidative stress throughout your body. Whether you receive Vitamin E in food or supplements, your body stores it in fat and use it on an as-needed basis to fight unstable free radicals and promote cell longevity and overall health. As an antioxidant, it works by donating one of its many electrons to free radicals, which generally lack an electron. In doing this, it stabilizes them before they have a chance to create oxidative stress on other cells.
3. It Also Has A Role In Immune Function
In addition to functioning as a powerful antioxidant, Vitamin E supports healthy immune function. Studies show that it helps the body’s immune system fight off infection. This has to do with its support of T cell production, which is a cornerstone of immune function. In fact, when combined with Vitamin C, Vitamin E is a powerful immune system aid that can fortify the body against illnesses. This, combined with its natural antioxidant properties, makes Vitamin E a powerful immune booster.
4. Reduces The Risk Of Cardiovascular Diseases
Research shows that people who consume foods rich in Vitamin E see lower rates of coronary heart disease. While there’s a lot of conflicting studies surrounding Vitamin E’s role in cardiovascular health, there’s reason to believe that its peripheral effects on the body carry over to cardiovascular protection. For example, its ability to modulate bad cholesterol and regularize blood pressure all contribute to cardiovascular wellbeing.
5. It Is A Fat-Soluble Compound
Since Vitamin E is fat-soluble, it’s stored in the liver and other fatty tissues. The body absorbs Vitamin E as it does dietary fats and releases them on an as-needed basis. This is highly beneficial since the body is able to build up stores of antioxidants and slow the effects of oxidative stress over time. Moreover, this is why Vitamin E deficiency is rare since the body is adept at storing it.
6. Recommended Daily Intake Is Only 15mg For Adults
While most adults don’t receive the recommended daily intake for Vitamin E, it usually does not pose any health risks unless you become severely deficient due to certain diseases like Crohn’s disease or cystic fibrosis. Curiously, Vitamin E intake is the same across the board for anyone over the age of 14, except for pregnant and nursing women. For these individuals, the daily recommended intake is slightly higher. Moreover, for anyone under the age of 14, the recommended daily intake is slightly lower.
7. Vegetable Oils Are Rich In Vitamin E
There are many oils that are rich in Vitamin E. In most cases, just one serving (typically a tablespoon) can provide nearly half your recommended daily intake of this important vitamin. You can choose from Sunflower, Safflower, or Hazelnut oil to increase your daily Vitamin E intake. However, these oils are also high in saturated fats. Consuming too much of them could go against other dietary recommendations—especially if you follow a low-fat diet.
8. Vitamin E May React With Certain Medications
Certain mild drug interactions can occur with overconsumption of Vitamin E. In particular, people who take anticoagulant or antiplatelet drugs, thrombolytics, and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs) should keep their daily consumption below 800IU to avoid the risk of drug interactions.
It’s important to speak with a physician if you’re taking a Vitamin E supplement to ensure you’re not creating an unwanted drug interaction. For the most part, however, Vitamin E is relatively harmless when taken at recommended daily levels.
9. You Can Get Overdosed With Vitamin E (Hypervitaminosis)
Most people can safely tolerate Vitamin E consumption of up to 1,000mg each day. Beyond this, you’re at risk for Hypervitaminosis E, or Vitamin E toxicity. This condition can lead to a variety of health complications, the worst of which is fatal bleeding. That said, most people are very well below this threshold since the daily recommended intake for adults is just 15mg. Only individuals supplementing Vitamin E have any chance of coming close to this threshold. This is why it’s always important to speak with a physician before increasing or supplementing vitamin intake.
When it comes down to it, Vitamin E is one of the most important nutrients for the human body. It’s an antioxidant and has important roles in everything from immunity to cardiovascular health. However, most people don’t receive their recommended daily value of Vitamin E. And while it’s unlikely you’re seriously deficient, it’s still important to make sure you’re getting enough Vitamin E on a daily basis to keep your body healthy and able to fight free radicals.
Talk to your doctor if you feel that you could benefit from a Vitamin E supplement. Always choose an all-natural, organic supplement and use it exactly as directed to fulfill your body’s Vitamin E needs. It is, after all, one of the most important essential daily vitamins for maintaining good health!