Vitamin E: what it is and what it is for
There is always a family member who when you feel listless or listless tells you “Take vitamins”. Yes, of course, but … what vitamins? Each type of vitamin is good for a specific issue and in the same way that we do not take (or should not take) paracetamol for different ailments, we should not take vitamins crazy, beyond those we eat with food, without knowing what exactly we are going to get with your intake.
Today we are going to bring you closer to a specific type of vitamin, vitamin E. A vitamin that can not only be obtained through nutritional supplements in pharmacies and herbalists, but you can also acquire it with the intake of foods withVit-E.
History of Vitamin E
In 1922, California researchers discovered a fat-soluble substance in wheat germ and lettuce and named it “Factor X.” They determined that this substance was essential for the reproductive function of rats. Factor X was then called vitamin E, then in 1936, tocopherol, a word from the Greek (tokos: childbirth, race andpherein: to carry) which recalled its importance for the reproductive system of animals.
In 2000, U.S. and Canadian medical authorities significantly increased the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) for Vit- E from 10 mg to 15 mg per day for people over 14 years of age.
What is Vitamin E and what is it for?
Vitamin E is also attributed the name of tocopherol, belonging to the group of fat-soluble vitamins. What does this mean by fat-soluble? That these dissolve in the fats and lipids of our body.
The most remarkable thing about this vitamin is its antioxidant action to which one of the things most valued by a woman is attributed, the delay of aging. There are also those who emphasize that this nutrient is important for vision, reproduction and health of the blood, brain and skin. That is, it is a very important nutrient for the body.
Now, Vit-E is presented in food in eight different compounds, therefore, consuming it naturally is not harmful at all. But beware when taking high doses of supplements of this vitamin, could result as bleeding and bleeding in the brain, or if you are pregnant, damage to the fetus.
On the other hand, there are people with deficiency of this vitamin E, but it is almost always attributed to certain diseases related to poor absorption or digestion of fats.
Lack of vitamin E
Vitamin E is not produced by the human body itself and must therefore be supplied from the outside via food. If you take too little of this vitamin over a longer period of time, it comes to a deficiency. Although vitamin E is found in many foods, only about half of Germans manage to cover their vitamin E requirements through food. However, since the body also has reserves in the liver, it resorts to them when a deficit arises from absorption. A true hypovitaminosis therefore often develops only after years of undersupply.
While a dietary deficiency is relatively rare, disorders of liver function or fat metabolism often lead to problems. In the case of a disturbed lipid metabolism, the vitamin can no longer be absorbed from the intestine and a disease-related deficiency develops. Such deficiency can also occur in premature babies.
A pronounced vitamin E deficiency can lead to anemia or a breakdown of nerves and muscles. In addition, it can also cause symptoms such as
- Lack of concentration
- various allergies and
- an increased susceptibility to infections
This is the first time that we have had a debate on this subject
For treatment, capsules with different dosages are available. They are often combined with vitamins A and C and are also said to prevent diseases such as arteriosclerosis, heart attack, stress, menopausal symptoms, impotence and muscle and joint diseases.
However, these effects are not scientifically proven. A Japanese study, on the other hand, showed that high-dose vitamin E supplements led to damage to bone substance in rodents. However, the extent to which these results can also be applied to humans is still unclear. Nevertheless, experts advise to use foods with high vitamin E contents instead of high-dose capsules.
Possible problems due to vitamin E deficiency
With a healthy diet it is quite simple to get the daily amount of Vit-E we need.
However, either by an inappropriate diet or by a disease, such as those that cause poor digestion of fats, we can suffer from Vit-E deficiency.
In these cases, the lack of this vitamin can damage nerves and muscles, as well as affect the sensitivity of arms and legs, cause muscle weakness and even vision problems. In addition, our immune system will be weaker against possible threats from bacteria or viruses.
What are the properties and benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin E benefits: As we have already mentioned, vitamin E is a good antioxidant and its main function in the body is to neutralize the damage caused by free radicals to cells and prevents the oxidation of fats. These properties could cause the following benefits in the body:
- Improves the immune system: Especially in older people, even if supplements are taken, resistance to certain infections can be increased.
- Improves skin and hair health: This happens thanks to its antioxidant property. In addition, it improves healing and some skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis.
- Prevents neurological diseases: In many cases when there is a deficit of Vit-E, this is linked to alterations of the nervous system. For this reason, taking supplements of this vitamin could prevent or treat diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s or Down syndrome.
- Prevents cardiovascular diseases: E Vitamin decreases oxidative stress and inflammation, two of the factors that cause cardiovascular disease.
- Fights infertility: This vitamin also improves sperm quality, increasing motility in men.
- Improves endurance and muscle strength: Its antioxidant effect provides an improvement in exercise-induced oxidative tissue damage. Which could increase endurance and muscle strength.
- Improves fatty liver: Thanks to its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action, this vitamin helps reduce high liver enzymes that cause liver damage.
All that we have mentioned about Vit-E and properties are benefits that through adequate consumption favor the body. But, do not forget that it would be best to consult a specialist before ingesting this vitamin through supplements.
Functions of vitamin E
Vitamin E has many important functions related to our health. One of the most remarkable is to protect our cells from the damage that free radicals can cause. These free radicals consist of compounds that are formed when we take food and convert it into energy. They can also appear due to air pollution, solar radiation or even tobacco smoke.
By acting against free radicals, Vit-E thus becomes one of the most powerful antioxidants that we can take advantage of, to prevent the signs of aging and the onset of diseases.
In addition, Vit- E also strengthens our immune system, as it stimulates it and thus helps fight the presence of bacteria and viruses that can affect us. On the other hand, with Vit-E we also manage to dilate blood vessels and prevent the formation of blood clots. It also acts preventively. With optimal levels of Vit-E, we can prevent or reduce the likelihood of heart disease, eye disorders or even mental illness.
The different forms
Under the term Vit-E hides a group of eight molecules of neighboring structures whose biological activity is variable. They are divided between 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols:
- Alpha-tocopherol, the most active form
These 4 tocopherols have a fully saturated phytyl chain. They vary according to the number and position of methylations on the phenolic ring.
Tocotrienols have a phytyl chain with three double bonds, and vary according to the number and position of methylations:
In nature, the molecule representing the main activity of Vit-E is alpha-tocopherol.
The use of a mixture of tocopherols and tocotrienols would potentiate the antioxidant effect of vitamin (E).
The food and pharmaceutical industries have developed synthetic Vit-E. The synthetic form is used for food fortification and in the formulation of certain dietary supplements. The most common mixture of synthetic vitamin E used includes8 stereoisomers, its name is all-rac-alpha-tocopherol.
French legislation allows four forms, which can be found in labels under the names E306, E307, E308 and E309. E306is of natural origin, and widely used as an additive in margarines and fats used in food. E307, 308 and 309 are synthetic products.
Vitamin E: All natural from Moringa
An almost fat-free source of vitamin E is Moringa, the so-called horseradish tree, which is said to have miraculous effects. Whether miraculous or not, it is clear that its vitamin E content is interesting in any case. Even with a daily dose of 10 g Moringa leaf powder, 30 percent of the daily requirement of vitamin E is covered. Since Moringa of course not only provides Vit-E, but also several other vital substances in relevant quantities such as calcium, magnesium and the B vitamins, Moringa is a good choice if you want to supplement your diet in a holistic way.
Vit-E for therapy higher doses In some cases, however, vitamin-E is used in therapeutic doses that cannot be consumed with diet alone – such as macular degeneration. But then not only a vitamin E supplement is taken, but many other vital substances. The aim is to consume as many of the necessary accompanying substances as possible so that vitamin E can have a similar effect as if it were ingested naturally with food. In the case of macular degeneration, Vit-E is therefore accompanied by vitamin C, zinc, copper, carotenoids, omega-3 fatty acids and selected other antioxidants.
Vitamin E For Young and Healthy Skin
A healthy vitamin E level thus helps to tighten the skin and gives a fresh, younger appearance. This works twice as well because vitamin-E also increases the content of collagen in the skin. Wounds heal faster because new cells can form quickly without being attacked by free radicals. Of course, Vit-E also protects the skin from the sun – both internally and externally. The latter when applied to the skin in the form of natural vitamin E-rich oils and fats (e.g. oliveoil orcoconut oil).
Vitamin E for shiny and healthy hair
Vitamin E also takes care of the health and vitality of the hair. Hair growth is accelerated, and hair becomes stronger – both through the regular consumption of vitamin E-rich foods and regular packs of vitamin E-rich oils.
Vitamin E in Food
Foods with vitamin e: The nutrient is produced by plants and a few bacteria. Humans themselves cannot produce the vitamin, so they are dependent on the supply through food. The most important source of vitamin E is vegetable oil, such as wheat germ oil, sunflower or olive oil. Margarine can also contain vitamin-E.
Vitamin E is found, for example, in:
Vegetable oils and margarines, the source of which is not specifically declared on the packaging, are almost always obtained from soybean oil in conventional food production. In order for them to be able to make an appropriate contribution to the daily vitamin E intake, in many cases the artificially produced vitamin is added to them.
In addition, vitamin E is an important building block for healthy hair and firm skin. This is mainly why the nutrient is so popular and is often taken in pill or capsule form. Those who decide to take such dietary should always be careful not to overdo the dosage and remember that the vitamin only works in combination with other vitamins and enzymes.
The Essentials About Vitamin E
Vitamin E is mainly present in fatty substances of vegetable origin such as margarine or vegetable oils. It is well known for its antioxidant properties and therefore protective vis-à-vis the body’s cells against oxidative stress.
|Foods rich in vitamin E, per 100g*||Vitamin E content|
|Wheat germ||11 mg|
|Sunflower oil||60.6 mg|
|Peanut oil||17.5 mg|
|Cooked spinach||1.33 mg|
|Virgin olive oil||10 mg|
|Boiled egg||1.05 mg|
|Raw red cabbage||0.125 mg|
|Sweet butter||2 mg|
Vitamin E Requirements
In addition to age and condition, needs depend on diet. Thus, they are increased in case of a high-fat diet, Vit-E being necessary to protect polyunsaturated fatty acids from rancidity within the body.
How much vitamin e per day?
How much vitamin E per day? Table of ANC (Recommended Dietary Intakes) for vitamin E:
|Age / State||ANC Vit-E|
|Children 1 to 3 years||6 mg|
|Children 4 to 12 years||7.5 to 11 mg|
|Adolescents 13 to 19 years||12 mg|
|Pregnant women||12 mg|
|Breastfeeding women||12 mg|
|Elderly||20 to 50 mg|
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