Supplement Sunday : Vitamin E
Vitamin E is a family of 8 different compounds : Tocopherols and Tocotrienols. These compounds are super powerful antioxidants. In supplement form, you are most likely to find tocopherol but in food we are able to get both.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. This means it gets digested with fat and can be stored and used as needed. It likes to travel to our adipose tissue (fat) and adrenal glands . More specifically it likes to travel to our mitochondria: otherwise known as the powerhouse of our cell (high school biology at its finest!).
Antioxidant: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant which will support every cell in our body.
It plays a role in:
Chronic Disease: the antioxidant activity helps to prevent chronic diseases that result from oxidative damage. Therefore Vitamin E may be used to support conditions such as cardiovascular health, diabetes, eye health as well as brain & cognitive health.
Anti-aging : by serving as an antioxidant it protects us from free radical damage that leads to aging processes.
Immune Health: it is not only needed for normal function of our immune system but can can also amp our immune system when needed by increasing the number of immune cells as well as enhancing their function
Fertility: Tocopherol which actually stands for “to bear off-spring" which implies it's action in fertility. Antioxidants including Vitamin E have been implicated in improving fertility outcomes in men and women.
Bone health : may help prevent or treat osteoarthritis, the degeneration of our bones.
Neuromuscular health: by serving as a neuroprotectant it supports our nervous system. When we are deficient in Vitamin E it often results in problems with our nerves and muscles.
Skin health: many studies have shown its effects on wound healing and the ability to significantly decrease scar appearance when applied topically.
What happens if we have too little?
Dry skin, eczema, swelling
Brittle hair and hair loss
easy bruising and poor wound healing
What happens if we have too much?
Increased blood lipids
Decreased thyroid hormone levels
It has an additive effect with other antioxidants such as Vitamin A and Vitamin C
Unlike Vitamin C (which promotes Iron absorption), if we take Vitamin E with iron, the iron will inactivate our Vitamin E (making it useless)
It can also interact with blood thinners such as warfarin and cause unwanted bleeding
Foods to find it in:
Many types of nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, peanuts, pine nuts, brazil nuts) as well as seeds (sunflower), oils (vegetable, sunflower, safflower) and wheat germ contain Vitamin E
National Institute of Health. 2020. Vitamin E. Accessed online: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
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