Home: Vitamin E 

Vitamin E

Vitamin E presents itself in eight forms called isomers, four of which are tocopherols and the other four are tocotrienols.

All the isomers have chromanol rings with hydroxyl groups which provide the hydrogen atom the component to reduce the free radicals to make a hydrophobic side chain which penetrates through the biological membranes of the body.

The alpha, bet, gamma and the delta form of the tocopherols as well as the tocotrienols decide the number of the methyl groups within the chromanol rings. Each of these forms have their own biological activity which measures the function and the potency of Vitamin E in the individual.

What foods contain it?

The most abundant source are vegetable oils like sunflower, corn, palm oil, olive oil and soybean. Nuts (hemp seed), sea buckthorn berries and kiwi fruit, wheat germ and sunflower seeds.

Other sources include whole grains, peanut butter, green leafy vegetables and fish and breakfast cereals.

Below is a list of foods containing this all important nutrient.

Asparagus û 1.5 mg

Carrots û 0.6 mg

Chestnut û 1.2 mg

Coconut û 1.0 mg

Corn û 2.0 mg

Hazelnut û 26.0 mg

Oats û 1.5 mg

Olive oil û 12.0 mg

Peanut û 9.0 mg

Peanut oil û 17.2 mg

Pollard û 2.4 mg

Soybean û 1.2 mg

Soybean oil û 14.6 mg

Sunflower oil û 55.8 mg

Tomatoes û 0.9 mg

Walnut oil û 20.0 mg

Wheat germ oil û 215.4 mg

How much should we take?

Previous studies showed that Americans failed to meet the recommended amounts in their normal diet.

The IOM or Institute of Medicine reports that Vitamin E intake is lower compared to the fat and energy intake of Americans, as seen in conducted national surveys. The IOM also believed that most North Americans can get enough if they follow a diet consisting of mostly vegetable oils.

However, Vitamin E may act as anticoagulant. If this happens, then there is a greater risk of bleeding problems. Therefore it is regulated to 1000 mg each day for those who are going through the ailment. The government doesn’t recommend excessive dosages as to the fact that it increases bleeding. This is because there are synthetic and semi synthetic supplements that increase the mortality rate. 

What is considered a deficiency?

Deficiency is apparent to those who are not able to absorb dietary fat, those who are premature, those who have low birth weight when they were infants and those who have rare disorders such as fat metabolism.

The deficiencies are usually characterized by problems in the nervous system because of poor conduction.

Individuals who have difficulty in absorbing fat require Vitamin E supplements because they need dietary fat in order to absorb their intake of the nutrient in the gastrointestinal tract.

Anyone who has been diagnosed with cystic fibrosis or has had their stomach or part of it removed suffer malabsorptive problems like liver disease, Crowns disease and pancreatic insufficiency.

These deficiencies are inherited and this results to poor absorption. This may create problems in the nerves, muscles and the retina which can eventually lead to blindness.

Individuals who have been diagnosed with deficiencies must be prescribed special supplements in order to treat the disorder.

Health Risks

Research has shown that Vitamin E may either prevent or delay coronary heart problems. It limits the oxidation in the body and prevents the formation of blood clots which could result in a heart attack.

Also, because it is an antioxidant, it protects against the effects of radicals which contribute to the development of cancer. It blocks the formation of nitrosamines which are located in the stomach. It also enhances the immune system.

Finally, the inadequacy can cloud the tissue of the eye lens. This augments the individuals risk of going blind. Observational studies have shown that Vitamin E can help prevent this.

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