Vitamin E

Tocopherol, commonly known as Vitamin E is fat soluble that has eight different forms. It is stored in the liver and the fatty cells. These are the sources from where the body extracts the required amount for normal bodily function. And because vitamin E is fat soluble, it is not expelled from the body. This means that any unused vitamin E is stored as excess and can build up. In contrast, water soluble vitamins (like vitamin C) are expelled from the body when they aren't needed. Note that both Vitamin C and E possessed antioxidant properties. Antioxidants prevent cell deterioration and they are taken as a supplement and are believed to prevent coronary artery disease and cancer.

Many skin creams and lotions contain vitamin E as a beauty or a cosmetic ingredient. The vitamin is thought to promote good, healthy, beautiful skin. Many believe that it helps promote the healing process of skin and that it will help prevent scarring. Vitamin E is known to protect cells, and prevent cell deterioration and protects the fatty acids which prevent the breakdown of body tissues. This is another reason why it is added to lotions and creams.

The vitamin is also thought to prevent the formation of blood clots and to prevent heart disease, although research in this area is too recent to provide conclusive results in this area. Since the vitamin has antioxidant properties, it is thought to act as a deterrent against various forms of cancer, like prostate, breast, colon and lung cancer.

Vitamin E, along with Vitamin C, is prescribed in large quantities to help deter Alzheimer's disease. The two vitamins are a part of the basket that is used in treating Alzheimer's. Using vitamin E as a supplement has been shown to be somewhat effective in preventing Alzheimer’s disease. Even so, it is not used in Canada for the purpose of preventing any disease, even Alzheimer's disease.

Vitamin E is also linked to protecting the fats LDLs, which in turn prevents cardiovascular disease. The incidence of myocardial infarction seems to be reduced by taking Vitamin E. Myocardial infarction is better known as a heart attack. Vitamin E is also known for lessening the chance of getting a stroke and lowering the incidence of cardiovascular diseases. Taking a vitamin E supplement may also prevent cataracts, but studies on this subject are not conclusive at this time. Elderly people who take Vitamin E are supposed to have an increased immune system, which enables the elderly men and women to fight off diseases.

Vitamin E use also neutralizes free radicals, which in turn is believed to prevent cancer. Free radicals are weak molecules that steal the electrons from other cells. This causes a chain reaction that weakens living cells, and is implicated in causing cancer. In short, free radicals damage cells. Vitamin E as well as Vitamin C, protects cells from damage. So, taking Vitamin E may protect healthy cells from becoming cancerous.

Vitamin E is found in vegetable oils, various seeds and nuts, wheat germ and in a few leafy green vegetables. Foods high in vitamin E are almonds, asparagus, avocados, nuts, peanuts, olives, red palm oil, seeds, spinach, wheat germ and vegetable oils. Deficiencies of the vitamin are rare, because Vitamin E is not expelled from the body. About the only way an individual could develop a deficiency is if they couldn't absorb fat. However, if a person is severely malnourished, they may have a Vitamin E deficiency. Symptoms of a Vitamin E deficiency are neurological problems, balance problems, sensory nerve problems, retinal damage, and muscle weakness. People with retinal diseases or problems should be checked for a Vitamin E deficiency. In North America people take in enough of the vitamin, unless they are on a very low fat diet.

There is some thought that a lack of vitamin E may have something to do with leg cramps. When a leg cramps, it flexes a muscle involuntarily. This muscle action can be due to a lack of certain vitamins and minerals. Vitamin E supplements seem to help prevent leg cramps, though studies don’t really show us why the leg cramps occur in the first place for sure. Drinking alcohol, eating sugar and fat, and drinking colas tends to leech vitamins from the body. These ingredients should be avoided when treating leg cramps.

During pregnancy physicians often prescribe vitamins E and C to prevent eclampsia. Scientists had a theory that eclampsia was due to oxidative stress, and thought that adding antioxidants to a pregnant woman’s diet would delay or prevent preeclampsia or eclampsia. Unfortunately, studies were inconclusive, and showed no relationship between taking antioxidants and treating eclampsia.

There would be little reason for people to take vitamin E supplements unless they can't absorb fat. Perhaps people who are following a very low fat diet might take vitamin E. Since many antioxidants, including Vitamin E, are found in fruits and vegetables, eating these foods should take care of any Vitamin E deficiency a person might have. A person should probably check with a physician first before taking large doses of Vitamin E. Chances are they probably wouldn't need the vitamin.