‘’Let’s have a look at how Vitamin E help us with our daily routine life’’

There are number of benefits claimed by health food and cosmetic industry for vitamin E but very few have been supported by reliable research. Vitamin E is the mixture of several related compounds known as tocopherols. The alpha tocopherol molecule is the most potent of the tocopherols. Eight similar firms of tocopherol exist in foods and all are absorbed by the body. However alpha tocopherol has considerable. Vitamin E is not stored in the liver.

Over 90 percent of its reserves are in body fat. Every tissue in the body has some vitamin E.

Major Functions of Vitamin E:

Vitamin E functions primarily as an antioxidant. It can donate electrons to electron seeking free radical (oxidizing) compounds. By neutralizing these compounds vitamin E prevents cell destruction. In particular vitamin E is important for preventing pre-oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in cell membranes. Both vitamins E and C are interrelated in their antioxidant capabilities. Vitamin E also protects lungs against oxidative damage from environmental agents and helps maintain beta carotene antioxidant activity. Vitamin E can help increase the absorption of vitamin A if the amount is low in the diet. It has been suggested that high intake of vitamin E may protect against chronic diseases such as heart disease.

Dietary Recommendations and food sources:

Dietary needs are related to the amount of PUFA intake to prevent their oxidation.RDA for the adult male is 15 mg of alpha tocopherol. Plant oils and foods containing these oils are rich in vitamin E. Most fruits and vegetables provide small amount. Other main sources are nuts, seeds and whole grain cereals and their products. Animal fats and fish oils have practically no vitamin E.

Deficiency and excess of Vitamin E:

Deficiency of vitamin E is very rare and is seen mostly in people mal-absorption. It may take five to ten years before the symptoms of the deficiency appear as it is arrows in the body tissues. The major symptom of vitamin E deficiency in humans is an increase in the red blood cell fragility. Since vitamin E is absorbed from the intestines in chylomicrons, any fat mal-absorption disease can lead to deficiencies in vitamin E intake. Unlike other fat soluble vitamins it is nontoxic. Excessive amounts may become dangerous when taken with anticoagulants or with aspirin. It can antagonize vitamin K and interfere with blood clotting

Recommended Dietary Allowance for Vitamin E

  Life Stage   Age   Males   Females
Infants 0-6 months 4 mg/day 4 mg/day
Infants 7-12 month 5 mg/day 5 mg/day
Children 1-3 years 6 mg/day 6 mg/day
Children 4-8 years 7 mg/day 7 mg/day
Children 9-13 years 11 mg/day 11 mg/day
Adolescents 14-18 years 15 mg/day 15 mg/day
Adults 19 years 15 mg/day 15 mg/day
Pregnancy All ages   15 mg/day
Lactation All ages   19 mg/day


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