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WHAT IS VITAMIN E AND WHAT ARE ITS FUNCTIONS?

Vitamin E is a family of eight antioxidants, with four tocopherols and four tocotrienols, and both groups include alpha, beta, gamma and delta. Alpha-tocopherol is a form of vitamin E found in the human body, mainly in the blood and tissues. Alpha-tocopherol is the only form that meets the recommended daily intake and has great nutritional value.

The primary function of vitamin E in the human body is the function of antioxidants. Vitamin E is perfectly built in the fight against free radicals and prevents the destruction of fats that are a key part of cell membranes. Free radicals are made up of tiny particles that can enter your body and damage it, and are found in tobacco smoke or other pollutants, among other things.

In addition to ensuring that all cell membranes in the body are preserved, vitamin E also helps protect the fats found in low-density lipoproteins (LDL) from possible oxidation. Studies have shown that oxidation of LDL can be a cause in the development of cardiovascular diseases. Healthy non-oxidized LDL transports cholesterol from the liver to the tissues and if it becomes oxidized and transformed, it also becomes harmful to the body.

WHICH FOODS CONTAIN VITAMIN E?

The primary source of vitamin E is vegetable oils such as olive, sunflower or saffron oil. Vitamin E is also found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grains. You can find all eight forms of vitamin E in your diet, but the ratios of these forms depend on the type of food. Thus e.g. one tablespoon of olive oil contains 1.9 mg of alpha-tocopherol and 0.1 mg of gamma-tocopherol, one tablespoon of sunflower oil contains 5.6 mg of alpha-tocopherol and 0.7 mg of gamma-tocopherol, etc.

WHAT IS THE RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE OF VITAMIN E?

The recommended daily intake of vitamin E for men was 10mg and 8mg for women. This amount was revised by the Food and Nutrition Committee of the Institute of Medicine in 2000, and new recommended intakes can be seen in the table below. It is important to emphasize that these new recommended daily doses are not based on intake that will allow you to be healthier or prevent potential diseases, but on the intake needed to avoid avitaminosis.

RECOMMENDED DAILY INTAKE OF VITAMIN E

YEARS

MG DAILY - MEN

MG DAILY - WOMEN

0-6 MONTHS

4mg (6 IU)

4mg (6 IU)

7-12 MONTHS

5mg (7.5 IU)

5mg (7.5 IU)

1-3 YEARS

6 mg (9 IU)

6 mg (9 IU)

4-8 YEARS

7 mg (10.5 IU)

7 mg (10.5 IU)

9-13 YEARS

11 mg (16.5 IU)

11 mg (16.5 IU)

14-18 YEARS

15 mg (22.5 IU)

15 mg (22.5 IU)

19+ YEAR

15 mg (22.5 IU)

15 mg (22.5 IU)

* IU = International Unit

WHAT ARE THE SIGNS OF VITAMIN E DEFICIENCY?

Interestingly, vitamin E deficiency has never been reported in healthy individuals. However, this is not the case with patients who are severely malnourished or have a genetic disease that affects protein transfer.

People with vitamin E deficiency are at risk for a number of health problems.Thus, these individuals may suffer from impaired balance and coordination, a disease known as ataxia, damaged sensory nerves (peripheral neuropathy), muscle weakness and retinal damage. Studies have also shown that children with severe vitamin E deficiency may develop neurological symptoms.

Although vitamin E deficiency is an extremely rare case, intake less than optimal is quite common in the US. In a study conducted by NHANES (The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey), 16,295 adults over the age of 18 were tested to determine the level of vitamin E in the blood. The study showed that 27% of whites, 41% of African Americans and 28% of Mexicans have less than 20 micromoles of alpha-tocopherol per liter of blood. Any level lower than this may indicate an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

WHO CAN BENEFIT FROM VITAMIN E SUPPLEMENTATION?

All people can benefit from vitamin E supplementation. Vitamin E helps prevent many diseases that affect millions of people each year, including cardiovascular disease, cataracts, weakened immune systems and cancer. Vitamin E supplementation also helps treat many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, dementia and cancer.

Benefits of Vitamin E for Bodybuilders / Athletes

  • Strengthens immunity

DOES VITAMIN HAVE ANY HARMFUL EFFECTS?

Only a few side effects have been reported in adults taking the recommended daily amount of vitamin E. The most common and likely side effect of vitamin E is poor blood clotting, which increases the chances of bleeding.

People who take anticoagulants (also known as blood thinners) and who are deficient in vitamin K should not take vitamin E in the form of supplements. It is very important that you check with your doctor to see if you are at risk. In addition, it is important to note that many drugs can reduce the absorption of vitamin E, including isoniazid, mineral oils, orlistat, sucralfate, cholestyramine and cholestipol.

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