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Vitamin E Health


Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin which exists in many different forms (tocopherols and tocotrienols) which exhibit a different biological activity, potency or function in the body. The most active form of vitamin E and the most potent antioxidant in the human body is alpha tocopherol of the eight naturally occurring forms of vitamin E. Vitamin E is believed to play a role in reducing the scaring of skin after injuries like burns and encouraging skin healing; thus it is commonly used in many skin creams and lotions. Vitamin E mainly functions to provide a defense line against the tissue damage caused by oxidation.  It also plays an important role in maintaining the integrity of the body’s intracellular membrane by protecting its physical stability.

Vitamin E as a potent antioxidant – Vitamin E prevents free radical damage in biological membranes and decreasing the oxidative stress in the body. Free radicals can cause cell damage and are associated with many diseases like cancer, atherosclerosis, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes.

Vitamin E and cancer – Free radicals are by products produced when the body uses food for energy. It is believed that some types of cancers are a result of oxidative damage to the DNA caused by these free radicals. This oxidation can lead to mutation among the healthy cells that may cause cancer. Vitamin E not only acts as a potent antioxidant to scavenge these free radicals from the body but also plays an important role in boosting the immune system. Vitamin E through its antioxidant properties may have a protective effect against breast and prostate cancer; among smokers it may protect against mouth, upper airways and lung cancer.

Vitamin E and heart disease – Vitamin E through its antioxidant properties may limit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and there by prevent its deposition in the coronary arteries. Especially in smokers it may help prevent the oxidation of lipoproteins and reduce platelet stickiness in the blood. Vitamin E helps prevent formation of blood clots and allows the blood to flow easily (it thins the blood) through the arteries. Vitamin E when taken along with vitamin C can help to stabilize the levels of LDL cholesterol in the body and thus help reduce the risk for atherosclerosis.
Vitamin E and cataracts – It is believed that people with high blood levels of vitamin E and regular users of vitamin E supplements have better lens clarity – a criteria to diagnose cataracts. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E helps to protect against cataracts, age related macular degeneration and uveitis.

Vitamin E and Alzheimer’s disease – The prognosis of this wasting disease of the brain is believed to be caused by increased oxidative stress in the body. Vitamin E supplementation prevents the damage of free radicals in the biological membranes, improves cognitive performance and prevents the development of Alzheimer’s disease when administered with vitamin C.

Submitted on January 16, 2014