13 Vitamin E Benefits You Should Know About
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble mineral and antioxidant found in several types of fruits and vegetables. It contains a wide range of health benefits from boosting the immune system to protecting against eye-related problems. These vitamins are also vital to promote red blood cells and help our body use vitamin K.
According to the National Institute of Health, vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms, including four tocopherols (alpha, gamma, beta, and delta) and four tocotrienols. The most common and potent form of vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol. In this article, we'll discuss the health benefits of taking vitamin E along with vitamin E dietary sources.
1. A Powerful Antioxidant
According to a study, the primary role of vitamin E is to remove free radicals in our bodies. Free radicals are unwanted molecules that are generated by the response of metabolic conditions or from external sources such as air pollution, sun exposure, and tobacco smoke. These radicals have the ability to damage our cells and cause illness by increasing oxidative stress in our bodies.
As one of the powerful antioxidant, vitamin E protects our cells from oxidative stress and improve the responses of our immune system. Vitamin E also helps to regulate the production and functioning of white blood cells which are responsible for fighting off damage and infections. Also, there are several research that have also stated that the antioxidant properties of vitamin E can help treat allergic diseases.
2. Repairs Damaged Skin
Vitamin E benefits the skin by building up the capillary walls, increasing moisture and elasticity, and acts as a natural anti-aging nutrient within your body. According to the studies, vitamin E reduces inflammation in your skin as well as your body, which means including vitamin E contributes to youthful and healthy skin.
The antioxidants present in vitamin E are also helpful when you are exposed to ultraviolet rays or cigarette smoke, and protect against skin cancer. Taking vitamin E along with vitamin C will help fight skin inflammation and can also decrease the signs of acne and eczema. This vitamin is absorbed by the epidermis layer of the skin, speeds up cell regeneration, and treats scars and wrinkles.
3. Balances Cholesterol
Studies have shown that certain components of vitamin E help as a protective antioxidant that fights cholesterol oxidation. This is because this type of vitamin can protect against free radical damage in the body, which leads our body to cholesterol oxidation. Tocotrienol isomers can also prevent cell adhesion, slow down the hardening of the arteries, and improve overall health.
However, it is important to note that synthetic vitamin E does not really have the same benefits as natural vitamin E. Too much alpha-tocopherol can actually disrupt the cholesterol-lowering components of delta and gamma-tocotrienols, which are the two most important bioactive tocotrienols and are linked to cardioprotective activities.
4. Prevent From Coronary Heart Disease
Much of the existing research has suggested that vitamin E supplementation is beneficial for high-heart-risk patients. According to a review published in the Journal of Lipid Research, vitamin E supplementation may be cardioprotective for that individuals with high levels of oxidative stress, including those with type 2 diabetes.
However, there are also few research that has determined quite the opposite result and found out that supplementing vitamin E may have adverse effects on coronary artery disease. So, at present time, more research needs to be conducted regarding the consumption of Vitamin E for cardiovascular risk factors. Therefore, consult your doctor before taking any kind of vitamin supplements.
5. Protect Against Age Related Eye Problems
Cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD) are some of the most common age-related eye diseases that are linked to oxidative stress and free radical damage. The antioxidant found in vitamin E makes it an ideal way to prevent both cataracts and AMD.
One study investigated the benefits of antioxidants on eye health and macular degeneration and it found that vitamin E helps reduce the cellular oxidative stress of the retina or macular region of the eye. Additional studies have found a relationship between increased dietary vitamin E and AMD's progression rate. Moreover, vitamin E aids the self-repair of the retina, cornea, and uvea.
6. Lower Cancer Risk And Improve Effect Of Medical Treatments
Vitamin E is also used to lower the harmful effects of medical treatments, such as radiation and dialysis for treating cancer. This vitamin is also used to reduce unwanted side effects of drugs that may result in lung damage and hair loss. There are certain components of vitamin E that have been linked to cancer protection.
In some animal studies, vitamin E's cancer-protective qualities have been shown in cases of breast cancer, hepatic cancer, prostate cancer, and skin cancer. More specifically, vitamin E seems to have a positive link with prostate cancer. Having said that, not all clinical trials have found an association between higher dietary or vitamin E supplements to reduce cancer risk.
7. Benefits Cognitive Health
Cognitive health refers to how well you learn, think, and remember things. A balanced, nutritious diet is extremely important in maintaining good brain health and preventing age-related cognitive deterioration, including Alzheimer's. It has been proven that food rich in antioxidants would slow the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.
Research has also shown that the anti-inflammatory activity of tocotrienols may contribute to their protection against age-related cognitive decline. Vitamin E paired with vitamin C, might also lower the risk of developing several dementia. Therefore, try including vitamin E in your diet to improve your brain as well as your overall well-being.
8. Promotes Hair Growth
With pollution, environment, and extensive sun exposure, our hair tends to get damaged by causing more breakage, discoloration, roughness, and even hair fall. In various research, vitamin E has been shown to increase capillary circulation in the scalp, which ultimately increases hair growth.
Antioxidants like vitamin E are supposed to boost hair's elasticity and promote luscious shine. Vitamin E can also help with frizzy and dry hair, depending on the reason behind its cause. Not only that but vitamin E may also increase blood flow, which also improves the quality of your health. Most importantly, vitamin E is known to promote scalp health, it gives your hair a strong base to grow by reducing oxidative stress and preserving the protective lipid layer.
9. Improve Symptoms of Fatty Liver
The fat-soluble vitamin, Vitamin E contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. These properties positively impact fatty liver disease and promote overall wellness. As the name suggests, fatty liver is caused due to excess fat in the liver and around 20% of the United States population suffers from this disease.
Vitamin E has proven to protect cell membranes from harmful oxidative stress and has the potential to reduce inflammation and prevent cell death. A 2020 review found that non-adults with fatty liver issues experienced an improvement in liver health after increasing the diet containing vitamin E. However, scientists are still investigating the exact effects of vitamin E on the liver.
10. Eases Period Discomfort
Vitamin E may even contribute to reducing premenstrual symptoms (PMS) such as cramping, anxiety, depression, and even cravings. According to a 2016 study published in the Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery, consuming vitamin E supplementation reduces premenstrual symptoms and helps alleviate menstrual cramps.
Similarly, vitamin E also reduces premenstrual cravings as per the research, and helps you feel energized and fresh as compared to people who do not include vitamin E in their diet. Therefore, if your period date is coming near, be sure to include food that is high in vitamin E.
11. Boost Immune System Response
Vitamin E boosts healthy levels of a type of immune cell called T lymphocytes or T cells. T cells are a type of white blood cell that plays a vital role in the immune system. There are altogether two types of T cells: regulatory and cytotoxic. Regulatory T cells manage immune reactions and prevent several chronic diseases.
Meanwhile, cytotoxic cells attach to cells infected by bacteria and viruses and avoid them from harming other healthy cells. Moreover, vitamin E's role is to maintain the strength of vitality of T cell membranes. T cells generally decrease with age, so it is important to maintain an optimal intake of the vitamin for a well-functioning immune system.
12. Important During Pregnancy
Besides all the nutrients and minerals, vitamin E is extremely important during pregnancy for the proper development of infants and mothers. Vitamin E plays a great role in protecting Important fatty acids from being damaged and makes pregnancy time much preferable.
Since the impacts of vitamin E start happening in the early stages of neurologic and brain development, many experts believe that the need for vitamin E is during the 1,000-day window that begins at conception. Due to this reason, it is recommended that pregnant women, new mothers, and children up to the age of two years old should mostly take natural food for supplements to make sure they are getting enough vitamins to prevent any kind of abnormalities.
13. Support Athletic Recovery
Most athletes experience muscle damage mostly caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. While muscle damage can help improve the muscle and build the level of endurance, a high level of free radicals and chronic inflammation linked with intense training may adversely affect performance and recovery.
According to research, Vitamin E supplements prevented exercise-related muscle damage as measured by creatine kinase (CK), a type of protein that increases after injury in muscles. However, findings about this are still conflicting, with some research stating vitamin E supplements aren't effective for muscle recovery.
Best Food Sources Of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is found in a variety of vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts, and oils. So, people can meet their daily need for vitamin E through diet alone. But keep in mind that vitamin E is best consumed with a source of good fats since they are fat-soluble which helps with absorption.
Here are some of the best sources of vitamin E and their daily value per cup:
- Sunflower Seeds: 33. 4 milligrams (220% of Daily Value)
- Almonds: 32.98 milligrams (218% of Daily Value)
- Hazelnuts: 20.29 milligrams (133% of Daily Value)
- Wheat Germ: 18 milligrams (120% of Daily Value)
- Mango: 3.02 milligrams (20% of Daily Value)
- Avocado: 2.68 milligrams (18% of Daily Value)
- Butternut Squash: 2.64 milligrams (17% of Daily Value)
- Broccoli: 2.4 milligrams (12% of Daily Value)
- Spinach: 1.9 milligrams (10% of Daily Value)
- Kiwi: 1.1 milligrams (6% of Daily Value)
- Tomato: 0.7 milligrams (4% of Daily Value)
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