Vitamin E

Vitamin E - What does it do? Where do I get it? How much do I need daily? What are the symptoms of vitamin E deficiency?
vitamin e

Why Is Vitamin E Important To Your Body?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant helping to protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals.  It also enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in the heart arteries. It is a nutrient that’s important to vision, reproduction, and the health of your blood, brain, and skin. The body also needs vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses. It helps to widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting within them. In addition, cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and to carry out many important functions.

Where do I find it?

Vitamin E is found in plant-based oils such as olive or sunflower oil. It can also be found in good amounts in nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. Some of the best sources are sunflower seeds, almonds, spinach, broccoli, and peppers.

How much do I need?

The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for vitamin E for adults is 15 mg daily (or 22 international units, IU). Lactating women need slightly more or 19 mg (28 IU) daily.

Most Americans get less than the recommended amounts of vitamin E in their daily diet. Even though healthy people rarely show any clear signs of deficiency, make sure you eat regular foods rich in vitamin E as it is essential to your body. You will not be able to reach toxic levels of vitamin E from food alone. Supplements with high vitamin E doses can increase the risk of bleedings and even stroke.

The upper limit for vitamin E has been set for adults 19 years and older of 1000 mg daily (1465 IU) of any form of vitamin E supplements.

What happens if I don’t get enough vitamin E?

Because vitamin E is found in a variety of foods and supplements, a deficiency in the Western world is rare. People who have digestive disorders or do not absorb fat properly can develop a vitamin E deficiency. The following are common signs of a deficiency:

  • Vision deterioration, causing damage to the retina of the eyes that can impair vision
  • Numbness and tingling, caused by damage to nerves
  • Difficulties with coordination and walking
  • Decreased immune function

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