Vitamin E Benefits, Vitamin E Foods & Vitamin E Rich Recipes


fat soluble vitamin, Vitamin E is composed of eight compounds, known as tocotrienols and tocopherols. It has antioxidant properties by virtue of which it inhibits oxidative damage of cell membranes and low density lipoprotein cholesterol. This vitamin is required for functional and structural upkeep of smooth, cardiac and skeletal muscle. Formation of red blood cells, upkeep of stores of iron, selenium, Vitamin A and K, maintenance of healthy immune system, cardiovascular health, cognitive health etc. require vitamin E.

Vitamin E deficiency, though rare, but can cause chronic loose motions, stools that are greasy and an incapacity to secrete bile. Vitamin E deficiency can occur in people who have problems related to absorption and metabolism of dietary fat. It can also be seen in people with genetic abnormalities in protein that transfers alpha-tocopherol and in low birth weight and premature infants. It is naturally present in many food items and its supplements are also commercially available. [1]

Benefits Of Vitamin E

Following are the various benefits of vitamin E: [2]

1. Helps In Restoration Of The Damaged Skin

Vitamin E is beneficial for our damaged skin as it improves elasticity, moistens the skin, enhances strength of the capillary walls and works as an anti-aging agent. Research has depicted that by controlling inflammation in our entire body as well as skin, vitamin E boosts skin health and youthfulness. By virtue of its antioxidant properties, vitamin E protects the skin from harmful effects of ultraviolet rays of sun, cigarette smoke and even cancer of skin. As the epidermis absorbs vitamin E, its topical application is also good for healing sunburns, acne, scars and wrinkle. It promotes healing by quickening cell regeneration. Vitamin E in combination with vitamin C is also beneficial in fighting skin inflammation after sun exposure as well as reducing eczema and acne.

2. Good For Our Eyes

Macular degeneration that takes place with advancing age can lead to blindness. Vitamin E is said to reduce this risk when taken along with adequate amounts of beta carotene, zinc and vitamin C. Vitamin E and A in high doses are good for promoting vision and healing in laser eye surgery patients.

3. Beneficial For Our Hair

The antioxidant properties of vitamin E is beneficial in protecting our hair from environment induce damage. It also has the potential to increase blood circulation in our scalp thereby nourishes our hair. Vitamin E oil enhances hair health by retaining moisture in the scalp thereby inhibiting flakiness and dryness. Application of few drops of vitamin E oil on your dull and dry hair can make it look fresher.

4. Works Against Free Radicals And Protects Against Heart Ailments And Other Diseases

Our healthy cells are broken down by free radicals resultantly increasing risks of cancer and heart disease. Free radical oxidation is detrimental for our health. Antioxidant potential of few isomers of vitamin E helps decrease the cellular damage induced by free radicals, reduces inflammation, boosts immunity and lowers the pace of ageing. All these help in boosting our health in general as well as reducing risks of heart disease. Studies have found that the isomers, gamma-tocotrienol, alpha-tocotrienol primarily and delta-tocotrienol to a certain extent offer these protective benefits.

5. Cholesterol Balancer

Our body needs cholesterol for normal functioning of nerves, cells and hormones. It is made by our liver. Some vitamin E isomers work against oxidation of cholesterol as they have antioxidant potential. Tocotrienol isomers decrease the activity of an enzyme involved in synthesis of cholesterol thereby benefiting our cardiovascular health. They also have a positive impact on atherosclerosis as they may inhibit adhesion of cells.

6. Could Be Beneficial In Reducing Risks Of Cancer And Enhancing The Impact Of Conventional Cancer Treatment

Tocotrienol isomers of vitamin E may help you protect against cancer. As seen in many studies done on animals, tocotrienols when given orally could suppress growth of tumour. It is assumed that it probably works against tumor by inducing death of cancer cells, stopping angiogenesis and retarding the cancer related genes. Animal studies have shown that these isomers are primarily beneficial against cancer of prostate, breast, skin and liver. Conventional cancer treatments like radiation, dialysis etc. have many harmful effects. As vitamin E is an antioxidant, it is at times used to reduce these effects. Lung damage or loss of hair can also occur. Vitamin E may also benefit them.

7. Has A Role In Balancing Hormones And Easing PMS Symptoms

It may help balance your hormones naturally as it can have a dominant role in normal functioning of our nervous system and endocrine system. Hormonal imbalance is often associated with anxiety, increase in body weight, tiredness, skin allergies, PMS and urinary tract infections. But when hormonal balance is attained these symptoms mitigate. Consumption of vitamin E supplements pre (2-3 days) and post (2-3 days) menstrual periods can ease your PMS symptoms like cramps, cravings, anxiety etc. By regulating our menstrual cycle and balancing your hormones, vitamin E can reduce the intensity and duration of your menstrual pain and may even decrease blood loss.

8. Beneficial For People Suffering From Alzheimer’s Disease

Tocotrienols’ anti inflammatory properties can offer protective benefits to the patients of Alzheimer’s disease. People suffering from neurodegenerative disorder or Alzheimer’s disease can benefit as vitamin E may lower the pace at which they lose their functional capacity and memory. Taken along with vitamin C, vitamin E may reduce the risks of developing dementia.

9. Good For Muscular Strength And Endurance

Post exercise oxidative stress that our muscles go through can be reduced by vitamin E. This can give a boost to your energy levels. By reducing fatigue through increasing circulation of blood, nourishing the cells and strengthening the walls of our capillaries it can increase muscular strength and endurance.

10. Needed For Fetal Growth And Development

Vitamin E has a positive impact on fetal brain and neurologic development. Food-based vitamin E supplements are therefore recommended for children up to two years of age, pregnant women and lactating mothers. It also has a role to play in controlling inflammation as it can safeguard essential fatty acids.

11. May Be Beneficial In Parkinson’s Disease

A neurological disorder leading to loss of muscular control is called Parkinson’s disease. Certain environmental factors, diet, genetic predisposition, aging etc. increase the risk of the disease. Several studies have depicted that the risk of Parkinson’s disease can be reduced by 19% when your daily diet has moderate quantity of vitamin E. [3]

12. Can Be Used For Tardive Dyskinesia

In a 7 month study, 20 tardive dyskinesia patients were selected and divided into two groups, 11 receiving vitamin E and 9 formed the control group. The selected patients’ medicine had not been changed for previous 1 month. Vitamin E was given at the dose of 600 mg daily initially and slowly it was increased to 1600 mg. Control group’s medication was not changed. The higher dose of vitamin E brought about significant decrease in the symptoms. [4]

Vitamin E Rich Food Items

The richest sources of vitamin E include almonds, peanuts, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, wheat germ oil, spinach, avocado, palm oil, turnip greens, mango, tomatoes, sweet potato, olive oil, butternut squash and pine nuts. [5]

Recommended Dietary Allowance Of Vitamin E

The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E for different age groups are listed below: [5]

Infants upto 6 months of age: 4 mg in a day
Those between 7 to 12 months of age: 5 mg a day
Children from 1 to 3 years: 6 mg a day
For 4 to 8 years: You need 7 mg daily
Children from 9 to 13 years: They require 11 mg a day
14 and above: 15 mg daily is required
Lactating mothers: Need to take 19 mg a day

Vitamin E Rich Recipes

Here are a few recipes rich in vitamin E:

1. Mango Coconut Ice Cream

Ingredients Required
One can of full cream coconut milk
little sea salt
half a cup of honey
yolks of six eggs and
three mangoes.

You need to make a puree of the mangoes and coconut milk. Add the other ingredients and combine them well. Freeze the mix in an ice cream maker or any bowl. [6]

2. Grilled Cheese And Avocado Sandwich

Ingredients Required
2 avocados that are ripe
1/3rd cup of crumbled feta cheese
2 peeled and smashed cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon lemon juice
6 to 7 cooked and thinly sliced chicken tenders
3 ounces of Pecorino Romano that has been shaved
4 bread (gluten-free) slices
one sliced tomato (medium size) and
1-2 tablespoons of butter

Mix avocados, garlic and lemon juice well. In a pan heat the butter and place the breads. Now for making sandwiches, add chicken and feta cheese on one bread and tomatoes and pecorino on another. Once the breads are brown, remove from fire, apply the avocado spread on the grilled cheese and bring the breads together. Your vitamin E rich sandwich is ready. [7]

3. Soup Of Butternut Squash

Ingredients Required
A butternut squash whose peel and seeds have been removed and cut into considerable pieces
a chopped apple (Granny Smith)
a chopped onion
4 tablespoons of butter
2 teaspoons of dried sage, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper
one-fourth to half a cup of coconut milk
4 cups of chicken broth

Melt the butter in a big pot on medium heat, add and cook the apple, sage and onion for around eight minutes. Now, you need to add the chicken broth and the squash. Cook till the squash becomes soft. Remove from fire and blend the mix. Now put it back in the pot, mix the coconut milk, heat it and add the seasonings. Your soup is ready. [8]

4. Sautéed Green Leafy Vegetables With Pine Nut

Ingredients Required
A bunch each of collards, kale, chard, turnip green etc. to make it a pound
one fourth cup each of golden raisins and pine nuts
2 minced garlic cloves
little bit of red pepper flakes
a quarter cup of dry white wine
2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt, pepper

Toast and keep the pine nuts aside. Sauté the garlic in olive oil and add the greens and cook for few minutes i.e. till they are wilted. Add raisins, nuts, salt, pepper, pepper flakes and the white wine. Once the liquid dries up your dish is ready. [9]

Vitamin E Precautions

The precautions associated with vitamin E are as follows: [10]

1. Dosage

Vitamin E when taken within its RDA i.e. 15 mg a day by healthy individuals is safe. Pregnant and lactating mothers should also consume their recommended daily amount. However, higher doses could be unsafe, especially for people with diabetes or heart disease. They should not consume 400 IU or more of vitamin E a day. In diabetics, such high doses enhance the risk of cardiac failure. In people who have had heart attack in the past, high doses of vitamin E can increase risks of death.

2. Angioplasty

Vitamin E supplements should not be taken after the procedure as it may interfere with healing.

3. People With Vitamin K Deficiency

When levels of vitamin K are too less, Vitamin E should be avoided as it may exacerbate clotting problems.

4. Stroke

Vitamin E in high doses should be avoided by people with stroke history as it may enhance death risks.

5. Pre And Post Surgery

Discontinue usage of vitamin E 2 weeks prior to any surgery as it may enhance chances of bleeding.

6. Interacts With Warfarin

Since vitamin E may slow down clotting of blood, taking it along with Warfarin can enhance possibilities of quick bleeding and bruising.

7. Neck And Head Cancer

Chance of recurrence of neck and head cancer may increase if vitamin E is taken in the dose of more than 400 IU daily.

8. Not Recommended For People With Retinitis Pigmentosa

Vitamin E at the dose of 400 IU a day is said to aggravate loss of vision in these people. So, they are advised to avoid it.

9. Vitamin E Interacts With Certain Medicines That Your Liver Changes

Some medicines like lovastatin, fexofenadine, triazolam etc. are broken and altered in the liver. Vitamin E might alter the pace at which these medicines are broken down which can negatively impact their effectivity.

10. Interacts With Cyclosporine

Higher doses of Vitamin E taken along with cyclosporine may increase the amount of the medicine the body actually absorbs. This may affect the side effects and effects of cyclosporine.