Vitamin E: Everything You Need to Know

Vitamins & Minerals
17 January 2023
Bottom line, what’s most important for you to know?
  • Vitamin E is considered one of the most powerful and most important antioxidants in our body. It prevents the oxidization of fats and protects cell membranes.
  • Vitamin E slows down the aging processes of the skin and contributes to preserving its elasticity and moisture.
  • A vitamin E supplement containing a blend of tocopherols is superior to supplements containing only one derivative.

Vitamin E is unique; it’s one of the most powerful and most important antioxidants for our health, and it fulfills an important role in protecting each and every cell in our body. When we talk about vitamin E we automatically think about our skin, and indeed Vitamin E is the star of many cosmetic products due to its skin-care benefits. But its role doesn’t end with the skin; Vitamin E participates in various enzymatic processes and affects almost all physiological systems in one way or another. What are the health benefits of vitamin E? How can we choose a good quality supplement, and what do we need to know before taking it? This article presents the answers to these questions.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin whose main role is to serve as an antioxidant, a role it fulfills rather exceptionally. Vitamin E has the ability to neutralize free radicals; it protects cells from the damages of oxidization, and due to this quality has many health benefits. In addition to its significance as an antioxidant, vitamin E is crucial to our health due to its contribution to many biological processes in our body.

Vitamin E – Why is it important and what foods can we find it in?

Vitamin E’s role in our body is manifold. It plays a role in both the male and female reproductive systems; it’s important for good eyesight, as well as healthy skin and the immune system. It’s part of hormone production, enzymatic activity, and much more.

Vitamin E can be found in many plant-based foods, such as: walnuts, almonds, seeds, avocado, spinach, green leafy vegetables, cold-pressed olive oil, and other plant-based oils. It is stored in the liver and other bodily tissues and is released based on the body’s need.

Protecting Cells

Most of vitamin E’s contribution to our health stems from its highly effective antioxidant activity. It’s one of the most powerful and most important antioxidants in our body and it fulfills the important role of protecting cells and tissues. It neutralizes free radicals, prevents oxidization of fats within cell membranes, and therefore safeguards our cells.

You’ve all heard the term “antioxidant” and know of its many health benefits, but what exactly does it mean? Here’s a short explanation:

Let’s begin with the fact that free radicals are constantly discharged, both during regular biological processes in our body, and due to such environmental factors, such as smoking, eating junk food, exposure to pollution and sun radiation, and even prolonged exposure to screens. “Free radicals” are basically chemically unstable molecules. Like everything else in nature, they also seek equilibrium, and so they wander around our body looking for electrons and other materials they can “steal,” which in turn creates a damaging chain reaction. The damages they’re responsible for are called “oxidization damages.”

They can cause our skin to age faster and generally accelerate aging processes in our body. This is why antioxidants – vitamin E included – are so important for our health.

Vitamin Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency isn’t common but can occur in people with fat absorption issues, or in people whose diet is full of processed foods. There are also situations where the body overuses its vitamin E stores, a condition that may lead to a deficiency. Prolonged exposure to UV rays, smoking cigarettes, and prolonged stress can cause the increased consumption of the vitamin by the body. Vitamin E deficiency in women can manifest in breast tenderness, pain, fatigue, and bad mood before menstruating, as well as in the worsening of hot flashes and vaginal dryness during menopause.

Vitamin E for the skin

Our skin is what directly protects us from the outside environment and so it’s important to keep it healthy and intact. Free radicals form prolonged exposure to radiation, chemicals and pollution, as well as internal biological processes. Free radicals harm elastin and collagen, which leads to a decrease in skin elasticity, moisture and firmness. Free radicals may also encourage the formation of pigmentation and hasten aging. Vitamin E neutralizes free radicals and protects skin tissues from oxidization damages. It contributes to keeping the skin intact, elastic, and moist. When used externally, it helps heal scars and burns.

Can a vitamin E supplement be applied directly to skin?

Certainly. You can open up a capsule containing vitamin E and apply it directly to the skin, assuming that it’s an oil-based supplement and not a dry vitamin. Vitamin E has a sticky and thick texture.

Recommended vitamin E supplements – what’s the difference between the various types?

Most supplements contain vitamin E in its single derivative (D-alpha tocopherol). It’s recommended to take a supplement that contains a blend of tocopherols alongside D-alpha. This means it containing many derivatives of vitamin E, closest to its naturally occurring form, which improves its absorption and activity within our body.

There are dry vitamin E supplements suitable for people with fats digestion and absorption issues. If you don’t suffer from absorption issues, we recommend you choose an oil-based vitamin E and take it with meals.

Things to know before taking Vitamin E

You should never take high doses of vitamin E without professional guidance. Similar to other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin E is stored in the body and therefore supplementation should be limited.

People taking prescription medicine should consult a doctor before taking a supplement in order to make sure that there is no unsafe interference.

Summary

It appears that vitamin E has an important contribution to our health, both due to its antioxidant benefits that slow down aging, its effects on internal biological processes, as well as its cosmetic usages. There are vitamin E supplements intended for ingestion, and those that can be applied directly on to the skin. When choosing a supplement, it’s best to choose one that contains naturally sourced vitamin E, as well as one that contains a blend of tocopherols. Such a supplement may be suitable for external use as well. When it comes to vitamin E, don’t compromise on quality! Your health matters!


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