Vitamin E - Quick facts
Vitamin E is necessary for structural and functional maintenance of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle. It helps in the formation of red blood cells and the ability to maintain stores of vitamins A and K, iron, and seleniumVitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy skin.
Vitamin E is a group of molecules with related structures, some of which may have unique properties in skin.
Vitamin E is an important element of the skin’s antioxidant defenses, providing protection against UV radiation and other free radicals that affect the epidermis. Oral supplementation with only vitamin E may not provide adequate protection for the skin, and co-supplementation of vitamin E and vitamin C will effectively increase the photoprotection of skin through the diet.
Vitamin E is normally provided to the skin through the sebum. Topical application can also supply the skin with vitamin E and may provide specific vitamin E forms that are not available from the diet. As an antioxidant, vitamin E primarily reacts with reactive oxygen species.
vitamin E can also absorb the energy from ultraviolet (UV) light. Thus, it plays important roles in photoprotection, preventing UV-induced free radical damage to skin. Vitamin E may also have related anti-inflammatory roles in the skin.
In addition to its activities as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function and, as shown primarily by in vitro studies of cells, cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes.
Vitamin E and Health
Many claims have been made about vitamin E’s potential to promote health and prevent and treat disease. The mechanisms by which vitamin E might provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and immune enhancement.
A primary barrier to characterizing the roles of vitamin E in health is the lack of validated biomarkers for vitamin E intake and status to help relate intakes to valid predictors of clinical outcomes . This section focuses on four diseases and disorders in which vitamin E might be involved: heart disease, cancer, eye disorders, and cognitive decline.
Antioxidant nutrients like vitamin E protect cell constituents from the damaging effects of free radicals that, if unchecked, might contribute to cancer development . Vitamin E might also block the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines formed in the stomach from nitrites in foods and protect against cancer by enhancing immune function .
Coronary heart disease
Evidence that vitamin E could help prevent or delay coronary heart disease (CHD) comes from several sources. In vitro studies have found that the nutrient inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thought to be a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis . Vitamin E might also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or venous thromboembolism.
Several observational studies have associated lower rates of heart disease with higher vitamin E intakes. One study of approximately 90,000 nurses found that the incidence of heart disease was 30% to 40% lower in those with the highest intakes of vitamin E, primarily from supplements . Among a group of 5,133 Finnish men and women followed for a mean of 14 years, higher vitamin E intakes from food were associated with decreased mortality from CHD .
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are among the most common causes of significant vision loss in older people. Their etiologies are usually unknown, but the cumulative effects of oxidative stress have been postulated to play a role. If so, nutrients with antioxidant functions, such as vitamin E, could be used to prevent or treat these conditions.
The brain has a high oxygen consumption rate and abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids in the neuronal cell membranes. Researchers hypothesize that if cumulative free-radical damage to neurons over time contributes to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, then ingestion of sufficient or supplemental antioxidants (such as vitamin E) might provide some protection
One easy way to get enough vitamin E in your diet is to add a tablespoon of wheat germ oil, or snack on sunflower seeds. Make a kale or spinach salad, and throw in some hazelnuts to get vitamin E.
|Wheat germ oil, 1 tablespoon||20.3||100|
|Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||7.4||37|
|Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce||6.8||34|
|Sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon||5.6||28|
|Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon||4.6||25|
|Hazelnuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce||4.3||22|
|Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons||2.9||15|
|Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce||2.2||11|
|Corn oil, 1 tablespoon||1.9||10|
|Spinach, boiled, ½ cup||1.9||10|
|Broccoli, chopped, boiled, ½ cup||1.2||6|
|Soybean oil, 1 tablespoon||1.1||6|
|Kiwifruit, 1 medium||1.1||6|
|Mango, sliced, ½ cup||0.7||4|
|Tomato, raw, 1 medium||0.7||4|
|Spinach, raw, 1 cup||0.6||3