Vitamins Spotlight: Vitamin E
What is Vitamin E?:
Vitamin E is a group of substances that are fat-soluble and have strong antioxidant properties.
Sources of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is found naturally in many different foods. Our bodies get a large portion of our
Vitamin E intake from vegetable oils, including peanut, corn,
canola, and others. Additionally, Vitamin E can be found in green leafy vegetables such as spinach and broccoli.
Many food manufacturers fortify foods with Vitamin E. Some cereals are fortified with Vitamin E to help provide our bodies with adequate amounts of
the substance. In addition to foods, our bodies can acquire Vitamin E from nutritional supplements. Most multivitamins contain some amounts of Vitamin E.
There are also Vitamin E specific supplements for people looking for higher dosages of the substance.
Role of Vitamin E in the Body:
Vitamin E aids the body’s immune function, among many other things. The most prominent
role that Vitamin E plays is that of an antioxidant.
Vitamin E helps defend the body against free radicals and the resulting oxidative stress. Free radicals are molecules in the body that have an
unshared electron. These molecules try to pair this electron by ‘stealing’ it from the body’s cells and tissues.
Antioxidants such as Vitamin E help neutralize and decrease the occurrence of these free radicals. It is believed that free radicals may cause serious
health issues including cancer and cardiovascular disease. Research is ongoing regarding Vitamin E’s ability to help mitigate these diseases through
its protection against free radicals.
Vitamin E Deficiency:
Vitamin E deficiency is fairly rare among people today. It is possible that in some circumstances that people may develop Vitamin E deficiency,
but it is unlikely. Certain people with fat absorption issues may have a difficult time
absorbing Vitamin E, and therefore must take water-soluble
forms of the Vitamin to avoid deficiency.
Recommended Vitamin E Intake:
According to the
National Institute of Health, adults over the age of 14 should have intake of approximately 15mg of Vitamin E per day.
Children should have a Vitamin E intake
of 4mg-7mg, while pre-teens should have an intake of around 11mg of Vitamin E.
More Information on Vitamin E:
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Where do you get Vitamin E?