Vitamin E (Tocopherol) Benefits and Signs of Deficiency
Benefits and Functions of Vitamin E (Tocopherol):
Vitamin E (Tocopherol) is thought to
be the most effective fat-soluble antioxidant nutrient which acts
in the human body. Antioxidants serve the vital function of protecting
cells and body tissues against oxidation damage caused by free radicals.
Damage caused by free-radical can lead to a variety of diseases,
including cardiovascular disease and cancers.
Certain cancers are thought to occur due to
oxidative damage to DNA caused by free radicals. This damage to
the DNA can result in mutations in cells that could ultimately lead
to cancer. Antioxidants like vitamin E help limit the damage caused
by free radicals.
Vitamin E helps to guard against heart disease
through lowering the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol.
It plays an important role in the maintainence
of the integrity and stability of cellular membranes. It is particularly
effective at protecting and maintaining the cells of the skin, eyes,
It functions to aid in the formation of red
blood cells, muscles, and other body tissues.
Vitamin E skin creams are thought to help heal
and protect the skin free-radical damage and can help reduce itching
Signs of Vitamin E (Tocopherol) Deficiency:
Vitamin E (Tocopherol) is abundant in foods,
and therefore a dietary deficiency of Vitamin E is extremely rare
in humans. However, a vitamin E deficiency may occur in two situations:
in premature, low birth weight babies and in people who not absorb
or metabolize fat normally (such as people with people with Crohns
disease, cystic fibrosis, or those who have abetalipoproteinemia
- a disorder which causes poor absorption of dietary fat.
A deficiency of vitamin E can ultimately lead
to nervous system problems and damage to nerves. This can result
in impaired reflexes, weakness of the muscles, poor balance, and
and an inability to coordinate voluntary movements.
Vitamin E deficiency may also be a contributing
factor to heart disease, including atherosclerosis, and an increased
risk of developing some types of cancer.
Vitamin E (Tocopherol)
The dosage at which vitamin E can cause toxicity
is 1000 mg a day, which is 1500 IU aday for natural vitamin E, or
1000 IU a day of synthetic vitamin E.
Some side effects have been reported related
to large doses of vitamin E (more than 2000 IU), including tiredness,
digestive problems, nausea, and headaches.
Dosages of more than 800 IU per day of vitamin
E may disrupt the body's blood clotting ability, which could affect
people who take blood thinners (anticoagulants).
E (Tocopherol) Overview
E (Tocopherol) Daily Requirement, Dietary Sources