What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is naturally found within our body and is made from a group of 8 fat-soluble compounds that have powerful effects on our body. It has antioxidant benefits that protect our cells from oxidative damage. This occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals, which are unstable atoms that can damage cells, resulting in ageing and various illnesses. Its benefits range from maintaining healthy skin, eyes and primarily strengthening the immune system.
Benefits of Vitamin E
There are many benefits of vitamin E, these can range from:
Protection of cells
Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress, which occurs when there is an imbalance of free radicals (unstable atoms that cause damage to cells) and antioxidants in the body. This can lead to cell and tissue damage, and it occurs naturally, especially whilst we age.
Maintains healthy skin
A factor in anti-inflammatory skin is vitamin E. It reduces skin swelling caused by UV and protects delicate skin from damage due to its antioxidant properties. It is also very hydrating as it helps skin absorb and trap water.
Supports healthy eyes
Its antioxidant ability protects your eyes, as many eye conditions are believed to be caused by oxidative stress. It aids in the self-repair of your cornea, retina and vera (the pigmented area of your eyes).
Some other benefits include; improving kidney function, increasing your red blood cells count and the overall support of your immune system.
Sources of Vitamin E
Replenishing the vitamin E in our bodies is vital as our body cannot naturally create vitamin E. It is obtained through various substances such as food and even supplements and is stored within our liver before being released into the blood stream.
- Nuts – hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts & peanuts
- Seeds – pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds & chia seeds
- Seafood – crayfish, fish roe, & Atlantic salmon
- Fruits – avocado, kiwi, mango & blackberries
- Vegetables – beets, butternut squash, broccoli & spinach
Most people get enough vitamin E from their diets, however some may choose to take supplements to boost their bodies antioxidant qualities. They are often taken by those with vitamin E deficiencies such as those with low fat diets, digestive problems, those with various diseases and people suffering from cystic fibrosis.
It is recommended that those that taking 540mg (800 IU) or less a day of vitamin E supplements is enough to help your body but not cause any harm.
Side effects of vitamin E
Although it is rare to ingest too much vitamin E, it can happen. Here are some side effects to look out for if an excessive amount has been taken:
- Muscle weakness
- Greatest risk is bleeding