Vitamin E, also known as alpha-tocopherol, is an antioxidant. It is so effective as an antioxidant that the food industry often adds it to oils and other foods to protect them from going rancid. Vitamin E is good for cholesterol because it keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing inside the body.
- Fact: The cholesterol that builds up in the veins and arteries is generally oxidized or damaged cholesterol because the body has trouble absorbing it. That is why it important to keep the cholesterol in the body from oxidizing.
Vitamin E and Friends
Vitamin E is made up of a group of compounds called alpha, delta, beta and gamma. Each compound has its own benefits, and all those compounds are present in natural sources of vitamin E. When it comes to supplements studies show that natural vitamin E supplements are far more effective than synthetic ones. Natural vitamin E also stays in the body longer than the synthetic counterpart.
Vitamin E reduces risk of heart disease, protects cell membranes, and can aid in preventing cancer. Vitamin E, with the help of vitamins A and C, boosts the immune system. Taking vitamin E with selenium makes vitamin E work better.
Daily Recommended Amounts
Children four to thirteen need to get at least seven to thirteen mg of vitamin E a day. Adults and teenagers fourteen and older need at least fifteen mgs of vitamin E.
Vitamin E Deficiencies: Causes and Symptoms
Deficiencies are very rare in developed countries, where they are usually a sign of a fat absorption problem. The positive effects of vitamin E can be diminished by somewhat by antacids and cholesterol-lowering drugs because they can inhibit absorption of fats and fat -oluble vitamins including vitamin E.
In underdeveloped countries, vitamin E deficiency is caused by a diet extremely low in fat. Deficiencies can cause breakage of red blood cell membranes and nerve damage. Vitamin E deficiency can also cause brain problems and birth defects.
Overdose Signs and Symptoms
Overdosing on vitamin E is rare. Most people can tolerate high levels of vitamin E with no ill effect. Symptoms of an overdose can include nausea, diarrhea and fatigue. The largest concern with an overdose is that too much can interfere with the clotting action in vitamin K. This can cause hemorrhaging inside the body as well as poor wound healing.
Vitamin E in foods
Vitamin E can be found in cold pressed oils such as vegetable oil, safflower oil, corn oil and olive oil. More good sources for vitamin E are almonds, avocados, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, mangoes, sweet potatoes, and wheat germ.
Tip: Vitamin E is easily destroyed by heat. Where vitamin E is concerned, raw sources are better. So when buying oil look for the words “cold pressed”. Cold pressing and eating foods raw protects the natural vitamin E present in the food.