Vitamin E is considered an essential antioxidant that is responsible for improving and maintaining healthy eyes, skin and a properly functioning of the immune system.

Function

Antioxidants are organic compounds that prevent then harmful chemical breakdown involving free radicals and healthy cells. Free radicals are high energy particles that cause a break-down of molecules such as proteins, DNA and Cell Membranes by ”stealing” their electrons through the process of oxidation, resulting in broken cells, an increase in lactic acid and hasten aging. When free radicals oxidize important components of the cell, those components lose their ability to function normally, and the accumulation of such damage may cause the cell to die Vitamin E functions as a powerful inhibitor of these reactions and prolongs cell life.

Health benefits

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound. Mild anemia, ataxia (unsteadiness), and retina color changes are symptoms of a lack of this vitamin and a deficiency of this vitamin can make body averse to fat absorption. An adequate amount of this compound guards against these health conditions. Along with many health benefits such as better vision, healthier skin and an improved immune system, Vitamin E supplements have been found to improve both long and short-term memory.

Sources

Wheat-germ oil is a rich source of vitamin E. Other sources of this vitamin are – plant oils, green vegetable leaves, cereals, eggs, nuts, cold-pressed oils, and beans.

Uses

A few studies have found that an adequate amount of vitamin E can help lower the chances of cancer. Researchers have discovered that the vitamin can be used to slow down the growth of prostate tumors. It can also be used to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.

There is evidence of relation between vitamin E supplements and reduction in cataracts.

This vitamin can reduce the rate of macular degeneration in women.

A Columbia University study has found that patients diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease can continue to function normally for longer periods of time if vitamin E supplements are included in their diets. Another larger study in the Netherlands substantiates the Columbia University findings.

Side-effects

The body has a high toleration for vitamin E. The side-effects of this compound are rare.

People with vitamin K deficiency are more prone to side-effects from overdoses of vitamin E. Large doses of vitamin E can cause hemorrhage and bleeding among these individuals.

Healthy people have shown symptoms of diarrhea, stomachache, nausea, high-blood pressure, and fatigue after overdoses of Vitamin E

Men are at more risk from high doses than women. Oils and creams containing vitamin E increase the risk of breast cancer in men.