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Vitamin Focus: E

by Louise August 20th, 2010 | Diet, Vitamins
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This article is the last in a series focusing on the different vitamins. The other vitamins that have already been covered are vitamin A, the B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin D.

What is vitamin E and what does it do for us? Vitamin E has long been known as the vitamin that helps skin heal when applied topically. There are those who buy bottles of liquid vitamin E to apply it to old scars in hopes that they will soon disappear through the magic of the vitamin. Despite many success anecdotes, research has shown that vitamin E as a topical healer of scars seems to be nothing more than a myth. However, the use of vitamin E as a healer is not completely fabricated. Vitamin E is actually the name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with antioxidant activities. It is likely that having an adequate intake of vitamin E (orally) helps the body mend itself in its most efficient manner. Vitamin E is also known to promote health and prevent coronary heart disease, cancer, eye disorders, and cognitive declines. However, this vitamin has not undergone much extensive or consistent research. New and old “benefits” of vitamin E continue to be questioned.

What happens if we do not take in enough vitamin E? Obvious symptoms of vitamin E deficiency are rare. It is possible for a normal person to not take in enough vitamin E, but still appear healthy. It is only when a low intake is paired with a rare disorder, such as abetalipoproteinemia, when a lack of vitamin can result in muscle weakness or retinal degeneration.

How much vitamin E should we take in? Can we take in too much? 22 IU is the recommended intake for adults. There is currently no evidence that one can take in too much vitamin E through consumption of natural foods.

How can we get more vitamin E? There are certainly vitamin E supplements available at pharmacies and sometimes even in grocery stores. Vitamin E is found naturally in almonds, wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, peanuts, spinach, kiwis, mangoes, and tomatoes, among other foods.

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All health and medical information is provided for educational purposes and is not meant to replace the medical advice or treatment of your healthcare professional.