Top Vitamin E Benefits
As we well know, various vitamins that are essential to our health. Vitamin E is one of those important vitamins. With all the different vitamins and minerals lining the shelves of stores you may be wondering, “What is Vitamin E good for?”
Vitamin E is important for healthy skin, eye health, and a strong immune system. What is Vitamin E? Vitamin E is the name for a group of fat-soluble compounds (which means it dissolves in fat rather than water) and has antioxidants. You may look at a label and see alpha, beta, delta, gamma tocopherol and tocotrienol; these are what makeup Vitamin E.
All the compounds may be a little confusing, but what’s most important is knowing the benefits of vitamin e. So, what does vitamin e do? Let’s take a closer look:
Have you ever looked at your hair and though it needed a little TLC? Environmental factors, drying, straightening, and dyeing can lead to split ends and make your hair look dull. Skip the expensive conditioning treatments and try Vitamin E instead. It can nourish dry hair and help to reverse the damage.
In addition to giving your locks some luster, the vitamin compound helps to promote hair growth.
We often take our skin health for granted until it becomes burned, inflamed, or wrinkled. Skin irritations, or dermatitis, are common and can appear as an unsightly (and itchy) rash. While people spend lots of money on topical creams, many of them are ineffective. Vitamin E can offer relief and help to heal damaged skin and may even work to fade scars.
Not only can it heal damaged skin, but it can also help you retain a “youthful glow” and slow signs of aging such as wrinkles and age spots. Depending on the severity of your skin damage, Vitamin E may even start to reverse the damage.
Vitamin E benefits dry and chapped lips. Lipsticks, lip balms, other cosmetic lip products and even harsh winter weather can make our lips look kissable, but can also increase the risk of chapping and dryness. Rather than slathering on more lip balm and making the problem worse, vitamin e oil can soften, soothe any cracks, and protect our lips.
Whether you’re an occasional nail biter, work with your hands a lot, or have brittle nails, your fingernails and cuticles may look a little rough. Weekly manicures may help make your nails look better, but they can be spendy and may not actually help your nails grow.
Vitamin e can strengthen your nails and help to repair torn or ragged cuticles for just a fraction of the price of regular salon manicures.
Your hands can also make you look older than your actual age. Dry, rough, and even sagging skin are common issues when it comes to hands. A little vit e oil can help your hands feel and look softer and healthier.
Another skin issue that many people try to get rid of is stretch marks. Stretch marks occur with pregnancy or weight gain or loss. While some stretch marks are more noticeable than others, Vitamin E oil can help your skin regain elasticity and treats the stretch marks.
Hyperpigmentation, which is patches of darker skin, is a result of excess melanin. Although it’s a common and harmless skin condition, many people with hyperpigmentation are self-conscious about their appearance. Using oil, as you would with other skin conditions, can help even out skin tone.
When your cholesterol levels get out of balance, it can increase your risk of heart disease and stroke, but the antioxidants in Vitamin E can help keep your healthy cholesterol high and your bad cholesterol low.
Macular degeneration and cataracts are common age-related vision issues that can often lead to blindness. When paired with Vitamin C, beta-carotene, and zinc, Vitamin E can help decrease the risk of these eye problems. It may also increase the healing process for individuals who undergo laser eye surgery.
When taken with Vitamin C, E may also help decrease the risk of developing dementia. It can also slow down memory loss and functional decline in individuals diagnosed with moderately severe Alzheimer’s.
Many health issues, such as weight gain to UTIs, stem from unbalanced hormones. Vitamin E can help to keep a balance within your endocrine and nervous system, and as a result, your overall health may greatly improve.
Why is Vitamin E Necessary?
As if the Vitamin E benefits we listed weren’t enough reason to incorporate it into your daily life, but you may wonder why or if Vitamin E is necessary. Think of Vitamin E as a “helper.” For our bodies to function properly, we rely on the important vitamin to “do maintenance” on our skeletal, cardiac, and muscular systems.
Vitamin E also helps in the formation of healthy red blood cells and the storing of other important vitamins and minerals like A, K, iron, and selenium.
Vitamin E Sources
The best Vitamin E source can be found with a healthy diet. Vitamin E foods include vegetable oils including wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils. Natural Vitamin E is also found in various nuts like almonds and peanuts as well as sunflower seeds. Don’t forget to eat some leafy green vegetables like spinach or broccoli. Eggs are also a good source.
There are many fortified foods (Vitamin E was added) such as cereal, juice, and various spreads. Always read the label to make sure it’s the healthiest option. There are also various supplements available, but it’s important that you don’t get too much Vitamin E.
Recommended daily intake of Vitamin E
How much Vitamin E is too much? The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is as follows, in milligrams (mg) and International Units (IU):
- Infants between the ages of 0 and 6 months can take 4 mg (6 IU) and
- ages 7 to 12 months, 5 mg (7.5 IU) per day.
- Children between the ages of 1 and 3 can have 6 mg (9 IU) per day.
- Ages 4 to 8 can take 7 mg (10.4 IU) per day.
- Ages 9 to 13 may take 11 mg (16.4 IU) per day.
Women and men, ages 14 and up, may take 15 mg (22.4 IU) per day. The same applies to pregnant women. Breastfeeding women can take 19 mg (28.5 IU) per day.
Most people, with food or supplements, get enough Vitamin E, but occasionally some individuals have a Vitamin E deficiency. Signs of this may include gastrointestinal diseases, hair loss, and muscular weakness. If you suspect that you have a deficiency, talk with a doctor before increasing your dose of daily Vitamin E.
If you are, in fact deficient, the RDA is as follows:
- For children 1 to 3 years, 200 mg (300 IU) per day.
- 4 to 8 years, 300 mg (450 IU) per day. 9 to 13 years, 600 mg (900 IU) per day.
- 14 to 18 years, 800 mg (1,2000 IU) per day.
- 19 and older, 1,000 mg (1,500 IU) per day.
Vitamin Side Effects
As we stated earlier, the best way to get Vitamin E is through the foods you eat. The food you eat will not increase your risk of too much of the vitamin nor is eating vitamin rich foods harmful. Most of the risks and side effects are directly related to taking supplements.
If you are interested in taking a supplement, check with your doctor to make sure that you are healthy enough to take it and how to monitor any adverse effects. Always take the supplement with food and keep the supplements in a cool and dry place (to preserve).
High levels of Vitamin E can increase the risk for bleeding or serious bleeding in the brain. Although the vitamin may reduce the risk of stroke, taking too much can increase the risk. Similarly, individuals who have cardiovascular disease or diabetes, may have an increased risk of heart failure.
Pregnant women who take too much Vitamine e may experience birth defects and an increased risk of congenital heart disease in the unborn child.
Supplements may also result in negative effects if an individual is taking medication or even a multi-vitamin. Men who take multivitamins in addition to a Vitamin E supplement have a greater risk of prostate cancer. Individuals who take blood thinners, statins, and anticoagulants may notice a change in effectiveness.
Individuals seeking chemotherapy or radiation treatment for cancer should avoid taking supplements as it may interfere with the effectiveness of the treatment.
Other common side effects of supplements or having too much Vitamin E includes nausea, headaches, cramping, diarrhea, blurred vision, rash, and fatigue. Even if you are taking the RDA of Vitamin E, you are still at risk of any side effects and you should re-assess or quit the amount you are taking.
If you experience too many side effects from taking supplements, stick with Vitamin e foods and try to eat enough every day.