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Vitamin E

Found in:

  • Vegetable Oils (refined):
    Wheat germ, cottonseed, sunflower seeds, palm, peanut,olive, soybean, coconut.

  • Nuts:
    Almonds, filbert, peanut, Brazil, pecan, walnut.

  • Seeds and Grains:
    Oatmeal, wheat flour, rye flour, corn meal, brown rice, wheat bread, white rice.

  • Vegetables:
    Spinach,cooked turnip and greens, broccoli, cooked asparagus, brussel sprouts, carrot, red bell peppers, butternut squash.

  • Fruits:
    Peach, strawberry, pear, apple, grapefruit, banana,avocados.

  • Dairy and Egg Products:
    Butter, eggs, whole milk.

  • Animal and Fish Products:
    Lard, cooked halibut, shrimp, tenderloin beef, pork, chicken, cod.

What is known to be good for:

  • May slow aging process and help bolster the immune system
  • May hinder chemicals that cause menstrual cramps
  • Neutralize the free radicals that can cause DNA damage and accelerating aging
  • defense against liver damage

Other functions of Vitamin E:

  • It may function as an antioxidant by reducing the free radicals formed in the body
  • It may be useful in cancer prevention
  • It is also suggested that vitamin E plays a role in cardiovascular disease through its ability to inhibit platelet prostaglandin release
  • Vitamin E may also play a role in reducing the risk of developing cataracts
  • It may protect against exercise-induced muscle injury
  • It may reduce anemia in G6PD deficient subjects

Lack of Vitamin E can:

In humans, vitamin E deficiency is rare. Experimentally, prolonged vitamin E deficiency results in increased hemolysis of red blood cells. In animals, vitamin E deficiency has been observed to result in reproductive failure, muscular dystrophy, macrocytic anemia, lactation failure, cardiovascular disease and other diseases.

Premature infants are at risk of vitamin E deficiency due to poor placental transfer of this vitamin and poor absorption from the immature gut. A vitamin E deficiency syndrome has been demonstrated in premature infants given a formula which is relatively high in PUFA and containing insufficient vitamin E. The deficiency syndrome consists of hemolytic anemia, edema, elevated platelet count, red blood cell structural changes and skin lesions.

Excess of Vitamin E can:

Vitamin E is relatively non-toxic compared to vitamins A and D. Vitamin E is a vitamin K inhibitor and can prolong clotting time. There is no evidence that mega doses of vitamin E supplements have beneficial effects on body functions in healthy humans despite numerous claims to the contrary.

Do you know where you find Vitamin E in your body?

Vitamin E is transported to tissues by plasma lipoproteins. High concentrations of vitamin E are present in cellular and sub-cellular membranes of the adrenal and pituitary glands, testes and platelets. Vitamin E is stored in the liver, adipose and muscle tissues.

Storage and manipulation of suppliers of Vitamin E:

Processing and storage will destroy some vitamin E in most foods. Losses of vitamin E from vegetable and cereal oils during storage is usually low; significant losses may occur in cooking.

Absorption, Storage and Excretion

Only 20-40 percent is absorbed. As is the case for the other fat soluble vitamins, the presence of bile is necessary for vitamin E absorption.

Source: HEINZ HANDBOOK Of Nutrition, 9th EDITION, Edited by David L. Yeung, Ph.D. and Idamarie Laquatra, Ph.D., R.D.

Adapted by Editorial Staff, December 2006
Last update, August 2008


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