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What is Vitamin E and What Does it Do?

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Vitamin E has a number of roles in the body, from building hair, and skin, to supporting your immune system and maintaining heart health. Read more here.

Vitamin E is a group of compounds found in a wide variety of foods which are essential for good health. It helps to strengthen the immune system and also plays a vital role in maintaining healthy skin and eyes.Vitamin E

It’s perhaps best known for its antioxidant effects, protecting your cells from oxidative damage by neutralising harmful molecules called free radicals. That’s why it is not surprising that a lot of research shows that taking vitamin E supplements may benefit your health in several ways. This article will endeavour to answer all things vitamin E. So, what is vitamin E and what does vitamin E do?

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E isn’t just one vitamin; its actually a group of fat-soluble compounds. There are eight different types of vitamin E, with alpha-tocopherol being the most common form found in the body. It helps protect the body cells from damage by acting as an antioxidant.

Vitamin E helps to protect the body from potentially damaging ‘free radicals’ that weaken and destroy normal healthy body cells, therefore shortening their natural cell life. Due to it being a fat-soluble vitamin, this means that the body can store it in the liver and use it when necessary. Vitamin E can be found in foods such as nuts, seeds, avocados, wholegrains and vegetable oils. Many people will get enough vitamin E from their diet alone, so deficiency is rare.

What Does Vitamin E Do?

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which helps protect cells against free-radical damage. It plays a vital role in your immune system, the body’s defence against illness and infection, it also enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries.  Vitamin E also helps to maintain the following:

  • Cell membranes
  • Formation of red blood cells
  • Healthy skin
  • Normal vision
  • Blood clotting
  • Cell to cell communications.

There are a wide range of things that vitamin E contributes to and there have been many tests around vitamin E and what it really does to our bodies. It’s safe to say vitamin E is one strong vitamin.

Heart Health and Vitamin E

One of vitamin E’s largest claims-to-fame, despite its relative state of obscurity, is its ability to help support the health of the heart by tackling oxidised cholesterol, which is known to be able to build up in large deposits along the inside of your artery walls.

Vitamin E is able to use its antioxidant properties to stabilize free radicals before they are able to create oxidised LDL cholesterol. By working this way, it is believed that vitamin E may be able to help reduce the risk of serious heart health diseases from manifesting.

Skin care

Skin Care

Your skin is the largest organ of your body, and serves as the first line of defence against potentially harmful bacteria and viruses. However, this does then put your face in the firing line. Vitamin E and its antioxidant properties are utilised by the skin to help protect your body against environmental sources of oxidative damage, such as UV rays from the sun and air pollution.

Due to its reported use of protecting the skin from antioxidants, vitamin E has been added to many skincare products including pharmaceutical, topical and cosmetic skin creams. This direct application to the skin is believed to help revitalise skin cells, and supports bodily defences against the continuous attack they receive from free radicals.

Immune System Support

Aside from the antioxidant properties of vitamin E, it is also a powerful anti-inflammatory and is believed to be able to help support your immune system by contributing to the production of T-cells. T-cells are cells, which are a sub-type of white blood cells, are released as part of your bodies immune system response to combat and kill cells that have been infected by germs and foreign contaminants.

Premenstrual Discomfort

A study in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology revealed that girls taking vitamin E supplements experienced less period discomfort and blood loss. With each successive month of taking vitamin E for dysmenorrhea, the treatment becomes more effective.

How much Vitamin E Should I Take?Woman with water bottle

The amount of vitamin E you should take is:

  • 4mg a day for men
  • 3mg a day for women

You should be able to get enough source of vitamin E from your diet. Any vitamin E your body doesn’t need immediately is stored for future use, so you do not need it in your diet every day.

We’ve taken a detailed look at some of the health benefits of vitamin E, what it’s good for and what it does.

Its antioxidant properties are incredibly beneficial to your health, helping to look after the health of your heart and skin, as well as provide nutritional support to your immune system. Available in a variety of different foods, as well as being found in dietary supplements and pharmaceutical creams and gels, there are plenty of opportunities for you to add vitamin E to your diet.

If you think you’re not getting enough there are always supplement options too. If you are unsure the best way to proceed, then always seek advice from a trusted healthcare professional.

Well, it’s easy to say vitamin E has many great qualities. Want to know more ways to boost your immune system? Head over and read our article, how to boost your immune system, next.

Sources:

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/vitamins-and-supplements/vitamins/vitamin-e/what-does-vitamin-e-do/

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/vitamins-and-minerals/vitamin-e/

https://www.hollandandbarrett.com/the-health-hub/vitamins-and-supplements/vitamins/vitamin-e/body-beauty-needs-vitamin-e/

https://www.netdoctor.co.uk/healthy-eating/a10930/vitamin-e/

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