Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that stabilizes and helps to protect the cell membranes from damage. This Vitamin is fat-soluble, stored in your body, and used if needed. You can find it naturally in many foods, but also as a dietary supplement.
It is also essential for body functions we may ignore; it promotes the immune system and neutralizes the cells that have been oxidized (free radical-cells) in our body.
Why Vitamin E is beneficial
As I’ve written above, Vitamin E has the potential to neutralize free-radical cells that may become harmful. The danger occurs when there is an accumulation of free-radicals that would eventually damage the cells. Too many free-radicals actually automatically signifies the possibility of oxidative stress and high risks of cancer and heart diseases and other diseases related to cell damage.
The accumulation of free-radicals is due to high lifestyle or environmental factors like smoking, air pollution, and some food and medicine intake.
Vitamin E therefore plays the role of an extra protector, which explains the use of it as a part of the treatment in degenerative diseases.
Why Vitamin E is important, especially for women
Heart diseases are known to be the cause of death for women more than men and more than any other chronic disease. Vitamin E’s importance is manifested in the fact that it can reduce blood coagulation and the oxidized Low-density Lipoprotein (LDL).
Benefits for skin and hair growth
There was always a link between cell damage and the acceleration of aging; the more radicals you have in your body, the more you’re at risk of aging early. And that’s where the role of Vitamin E becomes more important: it helps more than anything else to reduce this damage.
This essential nutrient is also beneficial for your skin and hair loss. It is effective to reduce the effect of UV rays on your skin, and nourishes it to look healthy and more youthful. This translates to the reduction of dark spots, redness, wrinkles, and excessive dryness. It has a beneficial effect for your hair as it inhibits hair loss and boosts its growth.
Vitamin E and hormones
Vitamin E is stored in the liver and fat cells. But there also are significant amounts of it in the pituitary gland which controls the activity of most hormone-secreting glands. In fact, all of the sexual hormones require a high level of Vitamin E to protect them from being oxidized.
During menopause, the estrogen level goes down along with other hormones, and that generally causes uncomfortable side effects, such as hot flashes. The good news is: it may be minimized with Vitamin E.
The daily dose recommendations
Pregnant women and girls aged 14 and more need a daily dose of about 15 mg/22,5 UI, while breastfeeding women need 19 mg/28,5 UI each day. On the other hand, women in menopause need at least 15mg/22,5 daily.
Vitamin E deficiency
If you have a deficiency in Vitamin E, it’s generally not because of your diet, but it’s mainly caused by the ability, or inability, of absorption and alteration by the digestive system. Usually, people who have health conditions related to digestion cannot absorb and digest fat properly. They would therefore need more Vitamin E through a prescribed supplementation.
However, you shouldn’t forget to check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and make sure to know your prescribed dose and not go beyond it.
Note: Although Vitamin E is insoluble in water and more resistant to heat compared to other vitamins, the cooking method and time can affect its loss, especially if it’s cooked on high heat or fried. Even if it’s rare, this may cause a complete loss of the vitamin.
Natural sources of Vitamin E
The most important sources of Vitamin E include wheat germs oil, seeds, nuts, and vegetables.
Wheat germ oil: 1 tablespoon (8 g) = 20 mg
Sunflower seeds: 1/4 cup (60 g) = 10 mg
Almonds: 1/8 cup (20 g) = 7 mg
Hazelnut oil: 1 tablespoon ( 8 g) = 6 mg
Sunflower oil: 1 tablespoon (8 g) = 5.5 mg
Almond oil: 1 tablespoon (8 g) = 5 mg
Hazelnuts: 1/8 cup (28 g) = 4 mg
Abalone: 3/4 cup (85 g) = 3.5 mg
Pine nuts: 1/8 cup (28 g) = 3 mg
Goose meat: 1 cup(225 g) = 2.5 mg
Peanuts: 1/8 cup (28 mg) = 2.5 mg
Atlantic salmon: Half a fillet = 2 mg
Avocado: half a fruit = 2 mg
Note: It’s better to associate it with Vitamin C for better absorption and benefit.