What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. There are 8 different forms of vitamin E and they are all compounds with antioxidant properties. Antioxidants protect cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that have the ability to cause cellular damage and may play a role in causing cardiovascular disease and cancer. Environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and ultraviolet radiation from the sun are other sources of free radicals in our bodies. Vitamin E also plays a role in the function of the immune system, cell signaling, and metabolic processes within cells.
Vitamin E is found naturally in nuts, such as almonds, hazelnuts, and peanuts, vegetable oils made from sunflower, safflower, corn, wheat germ, and soybean, sunflower seeds, spinach, broccoli, and fortified cereals.
People with fat-malabsorption disorders are more likely to become deficient than people without such disorders. Deficiency symptoms include peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. There are no negative effects of consuming high levels of vitamin E in your diet, but too much supplements can increase the risk of clotting disorders.
The RDA for adults is 22.4 IU/day and slightly higher in breastfeeding women, 28.4 IU/day.