Get To Know Your Vitamins – Vitamin E (Tocopherol) 2017-01-23T20:56:14-08:00

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that exists in eight different forms. The names of all types of vitamin E begin with either a d or dl, which refers to whether the vitamin E is natural or synthetic respectively. The natural form is more active.

Vitamin E is fat soluble, the body is able to store any vitamin E that it doesn’t immediately need in the liver and fatty tissue, and draw on it when it is needed. Much research has been done on vitamin E and its antioxidant properties, which are believed to prevent cell damage caused by harmful substances called free radicals. A good source is wheat germ oil, nuts, seeds, vegetable oils whole grains, egg yolks and leafy green vegetables.

How it helps

In addition to protecting the body from the damage caused by free radicals, vitamin E plays an important role in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body use vitamin K. Vitamin E has also been shown to play a role in keeping the immune system healthy and in repairing DNA, the body’s genetic material. Vitamin E is believed to help control bad cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. Two studies published in the New England Medical Journal showed that both men and women who supplemented with Vitamin E each day for at least 2 years had a 37 – 41% drop in the risk of heart disease. Even more impressive was the 77% drop in non fatal heart attacks reported in a double blind trial.

What happens if you don’t get enough?

Vitamin E deficiency is rare, but it may occur in people who have a health condition that makes it difficult to absorb dietary fat. Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include:
■ nerve problems, especially in the hands and feet
■ lack of coordination
■ problems with balance
■ impaired vision
■ muscle weakness

How much (dosage) should you take?

■ 14 years and older: 15 mg per day
■ 9 to 13 years: 11 mg per day

■ 14 years and older: 15 mg per day ■ 9 to 13 years: 11 mg per day
■ while breastfeeding: 19 mg per day

What happens if you take too much?

Vitamin E can interfere with the blood clotting process and increase the risk of bleeding, so people who are taking blood thinning medication should check with their doctors before taking vitamin E supplements.

When taken as a supplement in large doses, side effects may include:
■ intestinal cramps and diarrhea
■ fatigue
■ breast soreness
■ double vision
■ muscle weakness

Can drugs interact with it?

Some drugs may reduce the body’s ability to absorb vitamin E, including:
■ cholestyramine and colestipol
■ orlistat
■ warfarin

Vitamin E may increase the actions of drugs that thin the blood, including:
■ acetylsalicylic acid (ASA)
■ dipyridamole
■ clopidogrel
■ warfarin

Sources of Vitamin E

vitamin e food chart

Vitamins and Minerals: A Self-Hep Guide

This book provides a simple overview of the common vitamins and minerals available to help you supplement your diet when appropriate.
The information within this book is basic and does not claim to provide in any way comprehensive information of the subject matter but hopefully it can point you in the right direction when you need more information. All the information has come primarily from the government and authoritative bodies recommending daily intakes and pinpointing the limits of dosages per day. Experts in the field have tried to make the information easy to follow in this book.

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