Vitamin E is a group of 8 fat-soluble vitamins, which have antioxidant properties. Out of its several forms, the one that is used by the human body is known as alpha-tocopherol. Its major role is to protect cell membranes and other tissues of the body against oxidative stress damage. A regular intake to maintain adequate levels of this Vitamin is very essential for a number of processes in our body. It also helps enhance the immune function. It not only stops the production of free radical cells but also helps protect the cells from these free radical damage.

Benefits of Vitamin E

Vitamin E plays a vital role in performing several bodily functions. It prevents clots from forming in heart arteries thus protecting against heart disease. It is an antioxidant that reduces the damage caused by free radical cells which also helps in preventing cancer and also slows down the ageing process of cells. Vitamin E is used as a treatment for various degenerative diseases including high blood pressure. Other benefits include protection against liver damage, kidney damage and age related eye damage. Vitamin E is extremely beneficial for skin health. It helps maintain a youthful glow and also offers sun-protection. According to some scientist Vitamin E could also help in slowing Alzheimer’s progression. This Vitamin also has significant anti-inflammatory properties which can be very useful for treating conditions like asthma, cataract and respiratory infections.

Deficiency of Vitamin E

Because of the vast availability of Vitamin E in various food items and supplements, its deficiency is quiet rare. It is mostly found in people who have digestive disorders or do not absorb fat properly. The common signs of deficiency include damage caused to the retina of the eyes which can impair vision, loss of balance, muscle weakness, weakness or pain in the hands or feet caused by the damage to the peripheral nerves, and decreased immune function. Low levels of Vitamin E at birth can have an adverse effect on a baby’s developing nervous system.

Vitamin E Daily Requirement

Vitamin E that is naturally sourced is called RRR-alpha-tocopherol which is also commonly labeled as d-alpha-tocopherol. And the unnaturally produced form is all rac-alpha-tocopherol which is commonly labeled as dl-alpha-tocopherol. [1]

RDAs (Recommended Dietary Allowance) for vitamin E are provided in milligrams (mg) and are listed in Table below. 1mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is equivalent to 1mg RRR-alpha-tocopherol or 2mg all rac-alpha-tocopherol. [1]

Table: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol)

AgeMaleFemalePregnancyLactation
Birth to 6 months4 mg4 mg
7–12 months5 mg5 mg
1–3 years6 mg6 mg
4–8 years7 mg7 mg
9–13 years11 mg11 mg
14+ years15 mg15 mg15 mg19 mg
SOURCE : [1]

Vitamin E Rich Foods

Below is the list of food items that are rich sources of Vitamin E.

1Wheat Germ Oil

Wheat germ oil is extracted from the center portion, the germ of the wheat kernel. This oil has gained a lot of popularity recently because of its high nutritional value. The germ portion contains great amount of rich compounds, which by further pressing and extraction processes are retained in the oil. Wheat germ oil aids in boosting immunity and also helps in maintaining heart and cardiovascular health especially among menopausal women. Wheat germ has exceptionally high levels of Vitamin E. It has significantly high levels of healthy fats, fiber, and other essential nutrients like Vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin K and potassium, zinc and iron. This oil is also believed to maintain cholesterol levels and boost energy capacity.

  • Per 100gm of Wheat Germ oil has 149.4mg of vitamin E. [2]
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