Description Ingredients Suggested use AOR Total E Total E is the first truly balanced, complete E-complex supplement. The E complex includes ...View full details
Vitamin E Supplements
Vitamin E overview
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin but also a powerful antioxidant involved in anti-inflammatory processes, helping to fight free radicals and protect cells from damage. This vitamin represents a group of vitamins as it exists naturally in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol).
D-alpha-tocopherol is the biologically active and natural vitamin form of vitamin E and is preferred over the synthetic form dl-alpha tocopherol, which is not as effective. So be sure to pay attention to what is listed on the bottle!
The effects of vitamin E are widespread as this vitamin is important for the health of the heart, skin, blood, brain, immune system, and eyes and it may even help to reduce the risk of certain cancers while supporting healthy aging.
Why do people take vitamin E?
There are many benefits of vitamin E as this vitamin is involved in sex hormone production, heart health, wound healing, reproductive health, balancing cholesterol, reducing cognitive impairment, fighting free radicals, balancing hormones, boosting athletic performance, and enzymatic activities (1)(2)(3)(4).
Vitamin E deficiency has been linked to PMS, hair loss, muscle weakness, loss of muscle coordination, impaired vision, reproductive issues, and premature aging.
Though relatively rare, vitamin E deficiency may arise from a poor diet, an underactive liver or gallbladder, diabetes, or fat malabsorption from digestive problems and conditions. The most common reasons for low vitamin E are conditions in which fat is not properly digested or absorbed such as Crohn's disease, celiac disease, or cystic fibrosis.
How much vitamin E should you take?
Vitamin E can be taken orally though supplementation and dosing should be discussed with your doctor.
The recommended daily amount varies depending on age group:
- 1-3 years: 6 mg/day (9 IU)
- 4-8 years: 7 mg/day (10.4 IU)
- 9-13 years: 11 mg/day (16.4 IU)
- 14 years and up: 15 mg/day (22.4 IU)
- Pregnant: 15 mg/day (22.4 IU)
- Breast-feeding: 19 mg/day (28.5 IU)
- 14 years and up: 15 mg/day (22.4 IU)
Always check to verify the dosage and the form of the vitamin when reading the ingredient list. All forms other than d-alpha-tocopherol should be avoided as this is the natural and active form found in nature.
Vitamin E can also be applied as an oil topically to the skin due to its antioxidant properties and is found in many creams and lotions for anti-aging, wound healing, and moisturizing effects. Because it helps to hydrate the skin, topical vitamin E can help to offer relief from itchy and dry skin as well as promote well-moisturized skin and youthful effects from its antioxidants.
Always start with a low concentration of vitamin E applied to the skin before adding more to avoid any adverse reactions.
Can you get vitamin E naturally from foods?
Most healthy adults should not be concerned about a vitamin E deficiency as they should be able to obtain sufficient vitamin E from a healthy and balanced diet. As a fat-soluble vitamin, it can be stored in the liver and fat tissues for later use and should be consumed with a fat source for best absorption. This means deficiency is typically not as common but also that toxicity can be a risk factor with vitamin E supplementation.
Dietary vitamin E is found primarily in plant foods which are the best sources of this vitamin.
Good sources of vitamin E
The good news is you can obtain vitamin E from many food sources such as soybeans, broccoli, dark leafy vegetables, brussels sprouts, whole wheat, whole grains, avocado, eggs, butter, milk, liver, organ meats, oatmeal, and peanuts. Plant sources of vitamin E will be more significant than animal food sources. Foods may also be fortified with vitamin E such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarine, and spreads. Check the food label to find out if your product has been fortified with vitamins or not.
Maintain health and nutrient status by making the main focus of your meals around whole fruits and vegetables.
What are the risks of taking vitamin E?
Naturally occurring vitamin E in foods should not be a concern however like any supplement, there is the potential of experiencing adverse effects from the intake of vitamin E through supplementation.
Though problems are rare when taking the recommended dose, there may be complications with a high dose of vitamin E supplementation. If you are taking medications that slow blood clotting such as aspirin, clopidogrel, ibuprofen or warfarin there is the potential for bruising and bleeding to occur when combined with vitamin E.
Supplementation is not recommended for everyone and should always be discussed first and monitored with your health care practitioner especially if you have pre-existing health conditions or are taking medications.
What happens if I take too much vitamin E?
Supplementation with high doses should be cautioned as high-dose vitamin E can create health problems and result in toxicity levels. Too much vitamin E has been associated with the risk of prostate cancer, thyroid problems, gastrointestinal issues, and major bleeding events such as hemorrhagic stroke (5)(6)(7).
Vitamin E toxicity from food sources is not a concern however high dose vitamin E supplements should be cautioned against and always monitored. For this reason, the recommended amount of oral vitamin E intake is 15 mg or 22.4 IU a day of vitamin E among adults.
High doses of vitamin E supplements can be especially problematic among pregnant women, those with a history of prostate cancer, bleeding disorders, heart disease, diabetes, and pre and post-surgery.
To stay on the safe side follow the recommended daily amount and talk with your doctor about your vitamin levels to make sure you are not taking any unnecessary risks.
Topical vitamin E oil can potentially irritate the skin and cause allergic reactions. Always do a small patch test first and wait to see if any reaction develops.
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