Vitamin E - Overview, History, Benefits, Precaution, Dosage
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and known for strong antioxidants. It has the effect of protecting the body from active oxygen that causes various harm.
It prevents the ageing of blood vessels, skin, and cells, is effective in preventing lifestyle-related diseases, such as promoting blood circulation, and is also called a rejuvenating vitamin. Vitamin E is also known as "tocopherol". The word "tocopherol" is an abbreviation of tocos (give birth), phero (giving the power), ol (generic term for compounds with hydroxyl groups). About 90% of vitamin E present in the body is called α-tocopherol, which is abundant in cell membranes and lipids and prevents the oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Vitamin E is contained in many foods, including vegetable oils and nuts, and cooking with oil increases the absorption rate. However, it is important to use new oil rather than old oil because vitamin E is reduced by heating and deterioration. In addition, since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that dissolves in fats and oils, there is no need to worry about it being lost when washed with water. It is resistant to heat and acid, unstable to light, ultraviolet rays, and iron, and easily decomposed. In the body, it exists especially in cell membranes and is stored in many tissues such as the liver, adipose tissue, heart, muscle, blood, adrenal glands, and uterus.
Types of Vitamin E
There are 8 types of vitamin E. Vitamin E is roughly divided into tocopherol and tocotrienol, which has 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols which are divided into α (alpha), β (beta), γ (gamma), δ (delta).
The symbol in front of the name indicates the strength of the antioxidant action. δ is the most powerful, and the order is δ > γ > β > α. Collectively, it is known as vitamin E. The typical vitamin E with the highest activity among them is -tocopherol which makes up 90% of the vitamin E in the body. The difference between tocopherols and tocotrienols is whether or not the carbon-carbon bond is doubled. Double-layered tocotrienols are more flexible, allowing them to penetrate cell membranes better and act more quickly.
- Tocopherols: long-lasting action
- Tocotrienols: Fast acting
Absorption Of Vitamin E
As we know, vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. It is easily absorbed into the body from the intestinal tract. It is absorbed with the lymphatics along with lipids and transported in association with chylomicrons. If there is a lack of protein, then there are higher chances of wasting vitamin E. It is very important to have vitamin E as well as protein in the body. Otherwise, the effort of having vitamin E will be wasted. Also, since vitamin E dissolves in oil, the absorption rate will vary depending on the amount of fat you eat with it. When taking vitamin E, be sure to take oil and protein as well for better results.
Main Functions Of Vitamin E
Mainly, there are three functions managed by vitamin E in our body.
- Antioxidation of unsaturated fatty acids
Fish and vegetable oils contain large amounts of unsaturated fatty acids. Unsaturated fatty acids, which are essential fatty acids that the body cannot produce on its own and must be obtained from the diet, are required for the construction of cell membranes. However, heat, light, and air can quickly oxidise unsaturated fatty acids. It is vital to stop the shift to lipid peroxide because oxidation makes the process simpler. Lipid peroxide harms cells. Unsaturated fatty acids are prevented from oxidising by the antioxidant action of vitamin E.
- Suppresses the action of active oxygen
Inhaled oxygen undergoes some conversion to active oxygen during breathing. When produced in modest numbers, reactive oxygen plays a significant role in immunological function. However, when produced in large quantities, reactive oxygen promotes cancer and creates lipid peroxide, one of the causes of arteriosclerosis. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that inhibits the activity of active oxygen while also acting as an antioxidant. Additionally, it prevents the synthesis of lipid peroxides.
- Prevention of ageing
According to certain theories, oxidative stress and the excess generation of active oxygen cause ageing to advance. Vitamin E is thought to delay ageing by preventing the activity of active enzymes.
History of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is first identified as a dietary fertility factor. In ancient times, wheat germ oil was used to extract vitamin E and used to restore infertility in people. In 1922, Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop identified a chemical that was useful in restoring fertility, in 1922. They observed that feeding animals lettuce restored their fertility whereas feeding them meals containing recognised vitamins decreased it. In 1924, Schur gave the vitamins the name Vitamin E and arranged the letters in the alphabetical sequence of their discovery. Tocopherol is the chemical name, and Evans chose that term from the Greek words tocos, which means "to give birth," and phero, which means "to provide vigour." Vitamin E wasn't generally recognised in medicine until 1936. In 1946, it was suggested to use in coronary heart diseases. They performed several studies and found that vitamin E could slow down and even reverse the development of atherosclerosis. After that, vitamin E is famous as a supplement for cardiovascular problems. After 1956, eight different varieties of natural vitamin E were first identified. Day by day, the use of vitamin E is increasing in several studies. Now, it is used for many health benefits as well as skin benefits.
Vitamin E Benefits
Vitamin E contributes to many of the body's functions. Cells use vitamin E to interact with each other, so the function of this compound reaches the molecular level. Let’s check out vitamin E benefits.
- Fight Infections: Vitamin E increases the production of blood cells. The antioxidant particles fight the virus, bacterial infection, and all pathogens and strengthen the immune system. It is highly effective in older adults, On the other hand, vitamin E has also been shown to have an effective role in the fight against asthma and allergies.
- Prevent Blood Clots: Vitamin E is famous in heart patients. It widens the blood vessels and stops the formation of blood clots. It supports blood circulation in the vessel easily without clot forming. At the same time, it helps the body effectively use vitamin K, which is responsible for the opposite function: making the blood clot properly when it needs it.
- Prevent nerve and muscle damage: The powerful antioxidants from vitamin E minimise oxidative stress and maintain a healthy nerve system. It is effective to prevent the onset of dementia and Alzheimers. It is suggested to children for cognitive development. To have a better nerve system, and proper working of the brain and body, Vitamin E plays an important role.
- Protect Biological Membrane: Vitamin E is known to protect the biological membranes of nerves, muscles and the cardiovascular system. In addition, it increases the life of red blood cells as well as important to absorb the vitamins and minerals in the body. A disturbing vitamin E level disturbs all body functions.
- Reduce Ageing Signs: Vitamin E is known as the "vitamin of rejuvenation" meaning it holds the anti-ageing effect. Its powerful antioxidants prevent the oxidation of cells and delay the ageing signs. Yes, it can reduce skin wrinkles, fine lines and other ageing skin problems. Besides skin benefits, vitamin E also slows down the ageing process of cells and helps in many body functions.
- Reduce Macular Dysfunction: Vitamin E is also good for genetic eye diseases named macular dysfunction. Vitamin C reduces the risk of vision loss by 19%. It slows down the progression of macular dysfunction and protects the eye vision power.
- Reduce Premenstrual Symptoms (PMS): Vitamin E can even help reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS) like anxiety, depression, cramps, and even cravings. A lack of vitamin E increases the PMS sign in women. Women should add an external VItamin E supplement for better health.
- Prevent Sunburn and UV Rays: Vitamin E is a great skin supplement. Well, vitamin E is directly do not protect from sunscreen or UV rays. It is used in conjunction with sunscreen for additional UV protection. In addition, it is also able to reduce hyperpigmentation and inflammation of the skin.
Vitamin E Symptoms
The lack of vitamin E and insufficient intake of vitamin E show adverse effects on "fat oxidation, biological functions, and blood circulation."
Symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency:
- An absence of vitamin E causes muscle weakness by increasing oxidative stress in the muscles.
- A certain neuron system gets affected by vitamin E deficiency, which makes coordination and transit signals weak.
- To a decrease in antioxidant power, the skin becomes vulnerable to stimulation such as ultraviolet rays
- Menstrual disorder/menopausal disorder
- decreased reproductive function
- Autonomic imbalance
- Stiff shoulder, headache, menstrual pain, joint pain
- Makes stains and wrinkles easier
- Numbness and tingling in the body due to damage to nerve fibre.
- Weak Vision and eye cells get damaged with vitamin E deficiency.
Vitamin E Food
Fats & oils, cereals, fish, nuts, legumes, and vegetables are the main sources of vitamin E. The table below lists the amount of vitamin E included in regular foods per 100g.
Seeds and Nuts
- Almond 30.0mg
- Hazelnut 18.0mg
- Peanuts 10.0-11.0mg
Oils and fats
- Sunflower oil (high linoleic, mid-oleic, high-oleic) 39.0mg
- Olive oil 7.4mg
- Croissant rich type 1.9mg
- Amaranth whole grain 1.3mg
- White salmon 11.0mg
- Canned tuna 8.3mg
- canned sardines 8.2mg
- Soy milk (adjusted soy milk) 2.2mg
- Soybean flour 1.7mg
- Dried tomato 18.0mg
- Peanut immature beans 7.2mg
- Pumpkin 4.9mg
Vitamin E Dosage
Alike, every vitamin and mineral, it is also important for vitamin E to consume within a limit. The recommended daily intake of vitamin E and the tolerable upper limit is 7.5-10mg of tocopherol. It is an approved dose as per FSSAI(Food Safety and Standards Authority of India). The recommended intake is the amount that is sufficient to maintain a certain nutritional status, and the tolerable upper limit is the amount that does not cause health problems. More than this limit is considered an overdose and might lead to side effects.
Vitamin E Precaution
Vitamin E is one of the least toxic vitamins out there. The overdose of vitamin E is not good for the body. When there is an overdose of vitamin E, it might cause dizziness, abdominal pain, gas, high blood pressure and bleeding in the person. As per one of the studies, too much vitamin E is associated with an increased risk of early death. Hence, no one should consume vitamin E in an extra dose even if they have Vitamin E deficiency.
If you are on anticoagulants or antiplatelet medication, then it is not good for you to intake Vitamin E in any form. As it widens the blood vessels and might increase the risk of bleeding. If you undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments, then having vitamin E can affect your treatment and therapy.
A pregnant and breastfeeding woman should be able to use it but only in a limited dose. Well, it is advisable to avoid vitamin E during the first 8 weeks of pregnancy. It can be harmful to the body. If you already have a bleeding disorder, then having vitamin E without consultation is dangerous for life. Vitamin E can increase heart failure in diabetic patients. Make sure to be professional while using vitamin E supplements.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Question) on Vitamin E
Cut one end of the vitamin E capsule, and pour oil into the hand. Massage the oil on the face. Be gentle and massage for 2-3 minutes. It is an ideal process for a night routine. Rinse with cold water in the morning.
Cut capsules and pour oil. Mix some castor oil or your essential oil. Mix it properly and apply it to the roots of the hair. Massage for a few minutes and leave it overnight. Wash your hair in the morning.
Having 10mg of vitamin E in a day is enough for an adult. Do not overdose on vitamin E in a day.
Mix castor oil, tea tree oil, and vitamin E capsule. Warm this mixer on low flame and massage the scalp and nourish the hair length for hair growth.
Vitamin E capsules are not for breast enlargement. It doesn't increase breast size. It is only effective on the skin.
Anaemia is the main disease caused by the deficiency of vitamin E.
Add vitamin E oil to your skincare routine. Just a drop is enough with the location, cream, etc. Always use vitamin E oil only at night.
Wheat germ oil, sunflower, almonds, peanuts, pumpkin, etc are the foods which provide vitamin E to the body.
Consume vitamin E supplements at night for better results after food only. Do not skip your diet when you are on vitamin E supplements.
Vitamin E capsules are good for heart health, boost immunity, and improve skin, and eye heath.
For skin whitening, you can mix vitamin E capsules with lemon juice. Take out the vitamin E oil from the capsules and add lemon juice in equal amounts. Lemon will work as a skin-lightening agent where vitamin E helps in scars and acne.