What Is Vitamin E
Vitamin E – although it sounds like a single substance – it is a fat-soluble nutrient made up of 8 related compounds. Vitamin E comes in different forms and can be found in many foods. Some foods provide Vitamin E naturally while others have it added. In our body, Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage caused by free radicals. We are exposed to several free radicals in the environment from cigarette smoke, air pollution, ultraviolet light from the sun, among others. Our body also produces free radicals when it converts food into energy. Vitamin E is also vital in boosting the immune system and helps to prevent blood clots.
Vitamin E Supplements Explained
When choosing a Vitamin E supplement, it is important to know how much you need. Depending on age, the recommended dosage can vary, but most teens and adults require 15mg/day. If you choose a multi-vitamin, the dosage will usually be about 13.5mg/day – leaving room for you to gain some from your diet. If you choose a Vitamin E tablet, those can contain quite a bit more than what is recommended daily (i.e. 67mg). Some people prefer larger doses to help lower risks of certain diseases. If you choose to have your Vitamin E injected weekly at Edge Weight Loss & Fatigue, you will be getting the dosage needed according to your bloodwork and health requirements! For the month of May, the Vitamin E injection is included free for all current patients!
There are two forms of Vitamin E – natural (d-alpha-tocopherol) and synthetic (dl-alpha-tocopherol). The natural form of vitamin E is two times stronger than the synthetic form. For instance 1mg of d-alpha-tocopherol or natural Vitamin E is equal to 2mg of dl-alpha-tocopherol, synthetic Vitamin E. When you are looking at food labels for the addition of Vitamin E, it will be listed as alpha-tocopherol and is typically shown in IU’s. 1 IU of of d-alpha-tocopherol is equal to 0.67mg.
What Foods Provide Vitamin E?
Some foods contain Vitamin E naturally and it is added to some fortified foods. You can easily get the daily recommended amount of Vitamin E by eating some of the foods below:
Nuts – almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts
Seeds – sunflower seeds are a great source of Vitamin E
Vegetable Oils – wheat germ, sunflower, and safflower oils are some of the best sources of Vitamin E. Soybean oils can provide some, but not as much as the previously listed oils.
Green Vegetables – spinach, broccoli, and collard greens
Fruits – avocados, mangos, and kiwi
Vitamin E Deficiency
The average healthy person rarely shows signs of a Vitamin E deficiency. Certain diseases can contribute to a Vitamin E deficiency such as Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis and other diseases where fat is not properly digested or absorbed. For Vitamin E to be absorbed properly, it needs some fat to be present in the digestive system. A deficiency can cause nerve and/or muscle damage resulting in numbness in the arms and legs and reduced control of body movement. It can also cause muscle weakness and vision problems. A weakened immune system is another sign of Vitamin E deficiency.
Can Vitamin E be harmful?
Regular amounts of Vitamin E that are naturally found in you diet are not harmful and do not need to be limited. However, high doses of Vitamin E may increase your risk of bleeding by reducing the body’s ability to form a clot after an injury. The upper limits of Vitamin E for teens and adults is 1,000mg/day. One study showed that men who took 180mg/day of synthetic Vitamin D for several years had an increases risk of prostate cancer. Also, taking any antioxidant supplement during cancer treatments may reduce the effectiveness of the treatment.
It is always important to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about any supplements and medicines you take. They can guide you in the correct dosing and inform you of any interactions that could be prevented.
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