Vitamin E is a member of the fat-soluble vitamin group. Like A, D, and K, it is better absorbed in the body when consumed through dietary fat foods and thus has the benefit of being more bioavailable. Like other vitamins, it too can be taken in the form of supplements to fill gaps in nutritional needs but can be acquired in adequate amounts through everyday foods found in one’s diet. This article will explain everything that you need to know about Vitamin E!
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is considered one of the essential micronutrients. Essential micronutrients are known to help regulate things like metabolism, cell health, and growth. Vitamins like E also provide the metabolization of other macronutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Since E is fat-soluble, it tends to stay in the body for longer periods of time as opposed to its soluble partners, C and B. One of Vitamin E’s beneficial properties is that it serves as an antioxidant and acts to protect cells from free radicals.
What are Free Radicals?
Free Radicals are essentially atoms that are products of metabolization from the food we eat. They can also be found amongst daily environmental factors such as pollution, cigarette smoke, etc. They tend to contain an unpaired electron which they try to make up for by pairing with our cells (which have more than enough). In doing so, they cause damage to our cells and overall cellular health which can lead to a variety of problems including DNA, metabolism, energy production, etc.
And Vitamin E helps this because it is antioxidant?
Yes! Antioxidants are essentially the frontline against free radicals and help to protect cellular health. Free radicals could provide benefits to immune health but must be kept in balance by antioxidants so there is not too much cellular damage. When free radicals bind themselves to our cells and essentially become unbalanced, the result yielded is oxidative stress which can have harmful effects on cellular health. Other vitamins like C are also high in antioxidants and can help the fight against free radicals.
Are there different forms of Vitamin E?
There are eight known variations of Vitamin E. They are all naturally occurring and have high varying levels in relation to antioxidants. The form that is most useful to individuals is alpha-tocopherol (a-). It is the most natural and absorbable form of Vitamin E so it is best to look for this if taken in supplement form.
How do I get Vitamin E then and when should I take Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is usually adequately consumed through everyday foods found in most diets. It is important that one eats a variety of foods and follows a healthy diet to absorb the most vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E, like most other vitamins, can be found in high concentrations in vegetables. It is also high in seeds, oils, fruits, and more specifically, wheat germ oil. Vitamin E is fat-soluble so taking it in the morning if in supplement form alongside breakfast would be the best course of action as fat-soluble vitamins tend to stay longer in the body and are better absorbed alongside dietary fatty foods.
How much Vitamin E do I need?
Adequate amounts of Vitamin E pertaining to daily nutritional needs can be acquired through the foods one eats everyday. Specific foods like certain fruits and vegetables will be higher in Vitamin E. Deficiency is thus rare and most of the time is present in individuals with other health issues like leaky gut, crohn’s disease, or any condition in which the body is not able to properly absorb nutrients. If this is the case or if one wishes to just take more Vitamin E, then supplements are available- but should be done after consulting with a medical professional.
|Age||Dosage in Milligrams (mg)|
|Birth to 6 months||4 mg|
|7-12 months||5 mg|
|1-3 years||6 mg|
|4-7 years||8 mg|
|14-18 years||15 mg|
|Adults (18 +)||15 mg|