All You Need to Know About Vitamin E

Off the top of your head, how much information can you recite about Vitamin E? If a couple of tumbleweeds have just passed by, saddle up partner – it’s time to learn about this vitamin!

For starters, it’s a powerful antioxidant, which helps protect your cells from free radical damage. It is also fat soluble, which means that your body stores it and uses it as needed – unlike the B complex vitamins and vitamin C, which are water soluble and therefore your body is able to excrete any excess.

Benefits

Healthy Cells – As an antioxidant, Vitamin E can elongate your cells lives, as well as protect them from oxidative damage. Here is a bit of chemistry 101 for you – atoms have electrons that orbit them but these electrons like to live in pairs. If an atom has an uneven number of electrons in its orbit, it will find another atom with an uneven number of pairs to bond with (this is known as a covalent bond). When oxygen molecules become unstable, the atoms who are sharing paired electrons will split apart and this is where we get “free radicals”.

These free radicals will react quickly, trying to find other molecules to bond with. Free radicals are responsible for causing various illnesses and speeding up aging and wrinkles but antioxidants help combat this. As you can see, Vitamin E and other antioxidants play an important role in maintaining cell health.

Protection from environmental factors – The risk for free radical formation can be increased by exposure from air pollutants, cigarette smoke and even sun exposure. Since Vitamin E helps decrease free radical damage, it is also working to keep your skin looking healthy, smooth and wrinkle free. 

Cuts, scrapes and other wounds- Vitamin E oil is a great treatment for small wounds. It can help your skin regenerate quicker and reduces scarring. You can also use Vitamin E oil to treat dry or flakey skin!

Supplementation

While consuming too much Vitamin E naturally from foods or topically from oil is not a risk, it is possible to take too much Vitamin E when using a supplement. Unlike water soluble vitamins which excrete any excess, Vitamin E is fat soluble, so your body stores it and uses it as needed. When supplementing any fat soluble vitamin, it is important to know the risks associated with it and not exceed the recommended dosage.

One potential risk for going overboard on Vitamin E supplementation is a hemorrhagic stroke – which is bleeding in the brain. Vitamin E deficiency is not very common, so you most likely would never need to to supplement it, unless you are instructed to do so by a healthcare professional. If you would like to ensure that you are receiving an adequate amount of Vitamin E naturally in your diet, you can try adding wheat germ into your daily recipes. 

Sources 

  • Spinach, broccoli, olives, blackberries, avocado, mango, kiwi
  • Wheat germ, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts, pinenuts
  • Trout, shrimp

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