Vitamin E has its main function of being an antioxidant which removes free radicals, the molecules containing a free electron and are able to damage the cells and genetic material, contributing to the production of various diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer among other chronic diseases.
Additionally, this vitamin is involved in immune system’s functioning, regulation of gene expression and other metabolic processes.
Cells with high vitamin E content of the interior walls of blood vessels are better able to resist the adhesion of substances to their walls. In addition, this vitamin has an anti-inflammatory effect.
Major Sources of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is found in many foods, mainly seeds, nuts and vegetable oils.
Wheat Germ Oil
The main source of vitamin E is wheat germ oil. One tablespoon contains 20.3 mg, which would cover the daily needs of this vitamin.
They are followed, in order of most to least vitamin E content, the following foods;
- Sunflower seeds
- Sunflower oil
- Corn oil
- Olive oil
- Soybean oil
It is recommended to make a healthy diet of foods that include the following;
- A variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes
- Milk or semi-skimmed and skimmed milk products
- Lean meats, poultry, fish and eggs
This type of diet meets the daily requirement of vitamin E.
The Recommended Dosage of Vitamin E
The RDA for vitamin E from foods dose is about 15 milligrams daily. This is equivalent to 22 IU (international units) of natural vitamin E or 33 IU of synthetic vitamin E.
If you do a varied diet rich in nuts, seeds and vegetable oils, you will get the necessary amount of vitamin E.
If you are getting adequate amount of vitamin from your diet adequate, vitamin supplements will not necessarily be required. But you must stay moderate, in some cases, high doses of the vitamin E can be harmful, the important thing is to get the proper daily dose.
Vitamin E and Health
It is thought that lack of vitamin E could be involved in the onset of certain diseases such as cancer, heart disease, eye disorders and cognitive impairment.
Vitamin E protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals that can contribute to cancer development. It could also block the formation of certain carcinogenic substances occurring in the stomach from nitrite foods. It also protects cancer by stimulating the immune system.
It is thought that the free radicals are involved in the onset of cataracts and macular degeneration, so vitamin E may protect against these diseases. In fact, people taking low amounts of vitamin E (less than 15 IU per day) are more likely to develop these diseases than those taking higher doses (more than 30 IU per day).