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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!).

Functions:

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

  • hemolytic anemias

  • cataracts

  • neuromuscular deficits

  • Low libido

  • PMS

  • Premature aging

What happens if we have too much?

  • Blood thinning

  • Increased blood lipids

  • Decreased thyroid hormone levels

Interactions:

  • 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


Sources:

  • National Institute of Health. 2020. Vitamin E. Accessed online: https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/

  • Chai, S. C., Foley, E. M., & Arjmandi, B. H. (2018). Anti-atherogenic properties of vitamin E, aspirin, and their combination.PloS one,13(10).

  • Darché, R. L., Ruder, E. H., Blumberg, J., Hartman, T. J., & Goldman, M. B. (2017). Antioxidants in Reproductive Health and Fertility. InNutritional Antioxidant Therapies: Treatments and Perspectives(pp. 113-136). Springer, Cham.Chin, K. Y., & Ima-Nirwana, S. (2018). The Role of Vitamin E in Preventing and Treating Osteoarthritis–A Review of the Current Evidence.Frontiers in pharmacology,9, 946.

  • Emami, M. R., Safabakhsh, M., Alizadeh, S., Asbaghi, O., & Khosroshahi, M. Z. (2019). Effect of vitamin E supplementation on blood pressure: a systematic review and meta-analysis.Journal of human hypertension,33(7), 499-507.

  • Gaby, A. (2011).Nutritional medicine(Vol. 265). Concord: Fritz Perlberg Publishing.

  • Hobson, R. (2016). Vitamin E and wound healing: an evidence‐based review.International wound journal,13(3), 331-335.

  • Khanna, S., Roy, S., Slivka, A., Craft, T. K., Chaki, S., Rink, C., ... & Sen, C. K. (2005). Neuroprotective properties of the natural vitamin E α-tocotrienol.Stroke,36(10), e144-e152.

  • Lee, G. Y., & Han, S. N. (2018). The role of vitamin E in immunity. Nutrients, 10(11), 1614.

  • Pfluger, P., Kluth, D., Landes, N., Bumke-Vogt, C., & Brigelius-Flohé, R. (2004). Vitamin E: underestimated as an antioxidant.Redox report,9(5), 249-254.

  • Moosavian, S. P., Arab, A., Mehrabani, S., Moradi, S., & Nasirian, M. (2019). The effect of omega-3 and vitamin E on oxidative stress and inflammation: Systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials.International Journal for Vitamin and Nutrition Research.

  • Mutalip, M., Syairah, S., Ab-Rahim, S., & Rajikin, M. H. (2018). Vitamin E as an antioxidant in female reproductive health.Antioxidants,7(2), 22.

  • Nur, N. M., & Abdelhalim, A. T. (2018). A REVIEW ON CARDIOPROTECTIVE EFFECT OF AN ANTIOXIDANT, VITAMIN-E AGAINST MYOCARDIAL INFARCTION.Head of Editorial Board, 32.

  • Patel, N., Amin, P., & Shenoy, A. (2016). Is vitamin E supplementation effective in reducing mortality related to cardiovascular events in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus? A systematic review.IJC Metabolic & Endocrine,12, 42-45.

  • Pavithra, D., Praveen, D., Chowdary, P. R., & Aanandhi, M. V. (2018). A review on role of Vitamin E supplementation in type 2 diabetes mellitus.Drug Invent. Today,10(2), 236-240.

  • Prasad, S. V., Ghongane, B. B., & Nayak, B. B. (2017). ROLE OF OXIDATIVE STRESS AND VITAMIN C, E ON MALE FERTILITY: MINI REVIEW.

  • Tanaydin, V., Conings, J., Malyar, M., van der Hulst, R., & van der Lei, B. (2016). The role of topical vitamin E in scar management: A systematic review.Aesthetic surgery journal,36(8), 959-965.


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