VITAMIN E (TOCOPHEROL)

 

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VITAMIN E

(TOCOPHEROL)

DESCRIPTION

Vitamin E is one of the antioxidant nutrients (other vitamins include A and C, and minerals include selenium and zinc). Vitamin E has had many names, one of the earliest was “the anti-sterility vitamin.” Vitamin E is fat-soluble and exists naturally in many different forms and strengths.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, protecting the body’s cells and important nutrients and aiding the healing process.  It helps break down fats, increasing oxygen efficiency and thus increasing fitness.  Vitamin E is felt by many to be vital for proper nervous system function. It has been used to treat menopausal hot flashes because it regulates the body’s temperature, prevent thrombosis (blood clots), and help maintain healthy skin.

 

DEFICIENCY SYMPTOMS

Deficiency of vitamin E is unlikely as it is easily and widely available.  There is no problem if fats and oils can be absorbed properly, but some conditions may lead to a shortage of vitamin E because of impaired absorption. Chronic shortage of this vitamin is thought to lead to a host of illnesses. Such conditions include low red blood cell count, cirrhosis of the liver, alcoholism, celiac disease, and cystic fibrosis.

Those Who may need to supplement

•     women with menstrual or menopausal problems

•     postoperative patients

•     people with poor circulation or varicose veins

•     sufferers of Parkinson’s disease

•     people with cardiovascular problems

RECommended DIETARY ALLOWANCE

Age                              Vitamin E (a-TE mg/day)

0-6 months……………………………………………………   3

6-12 months…………………………………………………   4

1-3 years……………………………………………………….   6

4-6 years……………………………………………………….   7

7-10 years……………………………………………………..   7

11-14 years (males)…………………………………….. 10

15-18 years (males)…………………………………….. 10

19-24 years (males)…………………………………….. 10

25-50 years (males)…………………………………….. 10

51+ years (males)……………………………………….. 10

11-14 years (female)…………………………………….   8

15-18 years (females)…………………………………..   8

19-24 years (females)…………………………………..   8

25-50 years (females)…………………………………..   8

51+ years (females)……………………………………..   8

Pregnancy……………………………………………………. 10

Lactation, 0-6 months………………………………… 12

Lactation, 6-12 months………………………………. 11

Best food sources

Food                                     Vitamin E (mg/100g)

wheat germ oil…………………………………………. 178

safflower oil………………………………………………    97

sunflower seeds, raw ………………………………    74

sunflower oil……………………………………………..    73

almonds…………………………………………………….    37

mayonnaise………………………………………………    19

wheat germ……………………………………………….    17

margarine, hard………………………………………..    16

peanut butter……………………………………………..      9

soybean oil…………………………………………………      8

SAFETY

Vitamin E is thought to be safe up to 3,200 mg per day. High dosages have occasionally been associated with fatigue, nausea, raised blood pressure and mild gastrointestinal problems. These symptoms are reversible with a gradual decrease of vitamin E intake.

INTERACTIONS & CONTRAINDICATIONS

If one is taking anticoagulant medicines, vitamin E must only be taken with a physician’s approval. Vitamin E activity is increased by selenium and vice versa. Diabetics are generally advised to avoid vitamin E supplements.

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