• Benefits of Vitamin E

The Benefits of Vitamin E (Plus, how to get more in your diet)

There are quite a few benefits of Vitamin E, which is one reason why deficiency can be common. Not only is vitamin E an important, fat-soluble vitamin (more on what this means, in a moment), but it is also a powerful antioxidant that contains many health benefits.

This vitamin plays a critical role in helping your body produce red blood cells, and research suggests that billions of people worldwide could be vitamin E deficient. Populations that especially need adequate levels include young children, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and the elderly.

Interestingly, vitamin E is a general name for 8 different nutrients, four compounds called tocopherols and four called tocotrienols.

3 Main Health Benefits of Vitamin E

Skin Protection

As mentioned above, vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it helps protect the body against excessive free radical damage. Research shows that it especially helps to protect the fat in our cell membranes, which could help protect against premature aging.

Prevention of Heart Disease

Another important role that vitamin E plays in the body is preventing the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

Another important role that vitamin E plays in the body is preventing the oxidation of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.

When LDL cholesterol is oxidized (also due to free radical damage), it has a far more likely chance of accumulating in our arteries and causing atherosclerosis (AKA, hardening of the arteries). Therefore, diets high in vitamin E have been shown to support heart health.

The Vitamin E and Vitamin K Connection

As with all vitamins, no one nutrient works alone. Vitamin K also works in close conjunction with vitamin C, but its connection with vitamin K is important to note.

If vitamin K levels are low, too much vitamin E can potentially cause the body to ineffectively heal from wounds and excessively bleed. When it comes to supplementation, you’ll need to be careful that vitamins K and E are in balance.

Fat-Soluble

Fat soluble vitamins (as opposed to water soluble vitamins) are absorbed by fats that travel through our lymphatic system and are then stored in the body’s tissues. You have a higher likelihood of being deficient in all fat-soluble vitamins (which include A, D, E and K) if you eat a low-fat diet. Taking these vitamins alongside a bit of healthy fat makes them better absorbed in the body.

Best Food Sources and Supplementation

The best food sources of vitamin E include (in this order)

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach
  • Swiss chard
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts
  • Turnip greens
  • Asparagus
  • Beet greens
  • Mustard greens

In terms of supplementation, natural vitamin E products are best, such as this one. You could also try a topical oil or cream, as our skin (the biggest organ in the body) absorbs nutrients very effectively. For a super easy vitamin E application, try out a moisturizer that includes vitamin E, and make it part of your daily routine.

Vitamin E is a key antioxidant that plays an important role in overall health. Be sure to eat plenty of foods rich in this nutrient.  You might want to try out oral or topical supplement if signs point to deficiency (muscle weakness, liver and kidney problems and vision problems, for example). The benefits of Vitamin E are ready to be tapped. 

As always, consult your doctor with any and all questions and to make sure supplementation is right for you.

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