Vitamin E or tocopherol, known for fighting free radical damage, has health benefits including a reduced risk of skin and hair conditions, low cholesterol levels, potential prevention of cancer, and improvement in heart health. It also helps in improving hormonal balance and PMS symptoms, metabolism and the immune system, along with boosting endurance and muscle growth.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is an important, fat-soluble antioxidant which protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals and is critical for health. Vitamin E is actually a term used for a set of eight related tocopherols and tocotrienols; out of the eight tocopherols, alpha-tocopherols are the most commonly available and are also preferentially absorbed and used by the body.
Tocopherol was first discovered through experimentation on rats in 1922. In supplements, it is either available in natural or synthetic form. The synthetic form is only half as active as its natural form.
Vitamin E Benefits
Vitamin E has many benefits and helps in treating many diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Blockages in the coronary arteries can sometimes cause heart attacks and these blockages in the arteries are promoted by the oxidative changes of LDL cholesterol (bad cholesterol) in the body. The fact sheet at the National Institute of Health says that vitamin E has a vital component of antioxidants, which limit the oxidation of LDL cholesterol and thus help to prevent heart diseases.
Fights Free Radicals
This vitamin is lipid-soluble, which means that it helps in cell-membrane stability. The antioxidant content of vitamin E protects our cells from the negative effects of free radicals, by limiting their production.
Free radicals are harmful to our body as they damage cells, which further increases the chances of the body developing chronic diseases like cancer and other cardiovascular diseases. Vitamin E helps in fighting these radicals and protecting the body from chronic diseases.
Anti-Aging & Skin Care
The Indian Dermatology Online Journal published a study on the role of vitamin E in dermatology. It suggests that vitamin E acts as an antioxidant and keeps the skin protected from many diseases. By blocking off the free radicals in our body, vitamin E helps in slowing down the aging process. It further helps in reducing acne, blemishes, and other skin related issues. It is also found in face lotions and creams. This vitamin is helpful for reducing scars and is also used to lessen the harmful effects on the skin.
Being an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory substance, this vitamin can be used on the scalp to repair damage and encourage healthy hair growth. Many oils, gels, and serums also have vitamin E in them for the same reason.
It helps in balancing your endocrine and nervous systems, which thereby works towards the balancing of the hormones. This ensures healthy weight, the regulation of PMS symptoms, and reduces the risk of allergies, UTI, skin conditions, and anxiety.
Reduces PMS Symptoms
Tocopherol has been noted for its beneficial effects on PMS symptoms. These supplements help in relieving anxiety, stress, and cramping and promote a smooth flow of blood.
Delays Growth of Cataracts
This condition is a result of abnormal growth in the eye’s lens. This results in cloudy vision and a high risk of visual disability in aged people. People with a high intake of vitamin E have shown better lens clarity as compared to those who don’t consume appropriate amounts of this vitamin. Antioxidants present in vitamin E aid in reducing or delaying the growth of cataracts and other conditions associated with premature aging.
Slows Down the Progression of Alzheimer
Fights Fatty Liver Disease
One of the main reasons for the fatty liver disease or NASH is a vitamin e deficiency, therefore, taking vitamin e supplements can help in treating your liver.
Promotes Muscle Strength & Development
Vitamin E can help in improving muscle growth and strength by reducing the oxidative stress in the body. It also promotes blood circulation and boosts your capillary walls. It helps in DNA repair and also in improving the body’s metabolic processes. Tocopherol has also been noted to show improvement in infant growth and development.
Improves Nerve Health
To eliminate nerve pain naturally, vitamin e, which is rich in antioxidants can be very beneficial. It prevents cell damage and fights off free radicals, and is thus used in neuropathy.
Improves Immunity & Metabolism
Vitamin E plays a vital role in improving our immune system. The intake of this vitamin helps to stop the development of nitrosamines in our body. Nitrosamines are carcinogens that are formed in the stomach from nitrates in our diet. This helps in the improvement of our metabolic process. Tocopherol also helps protect some of the sensitive tissues of our body, like the skin, liver, eyes, breasts, and testes.
Prevents Heart Diseases
A 2014 research study has shown that vitamin E helps prevent or delay the onset of heart diseases. One of the major reasons for heart attacks is blood clots. Research shows that tocopherol helps in the elimination of blood clots, which in turn helps to avoid heart attacks.
Vitamin E Foods
There are many amazing vitamin E foods that can be used in order to prevent the onset of many conditions. These include the following:
- Wheat germ oil
- Palm oil
- Sweet potato
- Sunflower seeds
- Olive oil
Having talked about the benefits, one also needs to keep in mind about the potential side effects of vitamin E, when taken in excess. It can cause the following:
- Heart attack
- Bleeding disorders
- Prostate and neck cancer
- Blurred vision
Therefore certain caution is advised while taking vitamin E supplements.