The Benefits of Vitamin E: Where to Find It and How to Use It

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant found in many plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. In the United States, 15 mg of vitamin E per day is considered sufficient for the vast majority of adults. This daily value (DV) is selected as a reference on US nutrition labels. Vitamin E is a collective group of eight fat-soluble compounds that, together, offer significant health benefits.

It is an important anti-inflammatory agent that is often found deficient in people infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Wheat germ oil is one of the richest sources of vitamin E, providing 135% of the DV in just one tablespoon. Sunflower seeds are also an excellent source, with an ounce containing 7.4 milligrams of vitamin E, half the daily requirement. Sunflower oil has about a third of the vitamin E content of whole seeds, but it's still a great source.

Other nuts, seeds, and some oils tend to contain the most vitamin E per serving. Some dark green vegetables, some fruits and some types of seafood also contain vitamin E.Research has demonstrated that vitamin E is necessary to maintain adequate skeletal muscle homeostasis and that supplementing cultured myocytes with alpha-tocopherol promotes plasma membrane repair. It has also been shown that gamma-tocopherol, particularly in combination with delta-tocopherol, induces apoptosis in androgen-sensitive prostate cancer cells three days after treatment. Additionally, vitamin E can help protect and promote the effects of omega 3 in the body. However, high doses of vitamin E supplements (alpha-tocopherol supplements) may increase the risk of brain bleeding (hemorrhagic stroke).

A diet rich in vitamin E cannot have an optimal effect unless it is also rich in foods that provide other nutrients. Platelet aggregation induced by adenosine diphosphate was significantly reduced in healthy people who were given vitamin E enriched with gamma-tocopherol (100 mg of gamma-tocopherol, 40 mg of delta-tocopherol and 20 mg of alpha-tocopherol per day). People who participate in these studies are randomly assigned vitamin E or a placebo (a dummy pill with no vitamin E or active ingredients) and don't know what they're taking. Alpha tocopherols and gamma-tocopherols are the two main forms of the vitamin, and their relative ratios depend on the source. To get the most out of your diet, it's important to include a variety of foods that are rich in vitamin E.

This will ensure you get all the benefits this powerful antioxidant has to offer.

Ben Liebhardt
Ben Liebhardt

Amateur travel fanatic. General web buff. Certified travel junkie. Twitter nerd. Infuriatingly humble web practitioner. Certified beer nerd.

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