The benefits of vitamin E are now fairly well established. Out of a controversial past it has become clear that vitamin E plays important roles as an antioxidant, in your immune system, in preventing heart disease and even in helping prevent cancer. As if this wasn’t enough, the research continues into other beneficial effects that vitamin E may have. It’s not particularly easy to come by however meaning if you want to get all the benefits you probably should consider a supplement to your diet. Vitamin E has many uses. Vitamin E plays an important role as an antioxidant.
This means that it is important in preventing the damaging effects of free radicals which are by-products of many normal body processes. Vitamin E can works alongside the other important antioxidants, vitamin C and beta-carotene. It is only relatively recently that the benefits of vitamin E in preventing heart disease have been well proven despite it being suspected since the 1940s.
Studies have shown that taking regular vitamin E, either through diet or supplements can have quite dramatic effects to lower your risk of heart disease. In addition to it’s preventative effects, there have been other studies which have indicated that vitamin E can help stop the progression of heart disease which has already been established. Another way in which it acts is to help prevent severe blood clots which can in some cases be highly dangerous.
So all around vitamin E can offer some great benefits against heart disease. It has been known for some time that vitamin E can boost the immune system. The antioxidant effects of vitamin E help the immune reaction, but in addition vitamin E works to protect cell membranes against being penetrated by attacking microbes. The idea that vitamin E might help prevent cancer came from observations that people with cancer often have low levels of vitamin E.
So the question that needs answering is – does one cause the other? Do low levels of vitamin E make people more likely to develop cancer, or does having cancer cause your levels of vitamin E to drop? There is growing evidence that low levels of vitamin E do make you more likely to develop cancer. This is good news because we can do something about low levels of vitamin E ? get more, and reduce our cancer risk. The antioxidant effects of vitamin E seem to be what is giving this protection. So far there is evidence of this effect in acting against colon, cervical and breast cancers and possibly lung cancer.
Another benefit can come in patients who are receiving radiation therapy for cancer in whom vitamin E appears to help reduce the side effects of treatment. For normal nerve function vitamin E is essential. Long term deficiency of vitamin E can show itself in terms of damage to the nerves. The effects of vitamin E deficiency are not as dramatic as the effects of not getting enough of many of the other vitamins.
A long-term deficiency E may lead to nerve damage and even neurological disorders. These kinds of deficiencies are pretty rare and can be difficult to identify. Many of these disorders may be treated by vitamin E supplementation. People may get deficiencies who have disorders which lead to them not being able to absorb much vitamin E, such as those with Crohn’s disease, liver disease or cystic fibrosis.
However, also people who are on very low fat or low calorie diets for long periods of time should make sure they are getting enough vitamin E. As with many other vitamins, the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is the minimum amount necessary to avoid becoming deficient. For adults this is about 12-15 IUs (International Units). It is really more useful to take a look at how much is generally considered to be good for you, so you make sure and get all the positive effects of vitamin E.
Taking too much, like any other vitamin, can be dangerous. These levels are as follows: Adults ? From age 10 and up, 30 to 400 IU (International Units) The amount will vary depending upon your size and diet. Children ? Less than ten years old ? no more than 200 IU per day Infants ? no more than 50 IU per day Vitamin E is pretty hard to come by in most foods. There just isn’t much of it around. A normal healthy diet will give you about 15 IUs per day. This comes from foods such as vegetable oils, whole-grains, eggs, flour and vegetables.
In order to get the full benefits that vitamin E can offer, you are going to have to consider a supplement. As with most vitamins, there are an enormous variety of options. Most multivitamins will cover your vitamin E needs quite nicely, but there are also many products that will offer vitamin E by itself in its different forms. The different forms of vitamin E Getting enough vitamin E offers some excellent health benefits, such as; acting as an antioxidant to prevent the damaging effects of free radicals, reducing your risk of heart disease and cancer, and boosting your immune system. Vitamin E is a very important vitamin and can greatly increase one’s health when taken in right dosages.