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Vitamin E

More than skin deep

5122701_lVitamin E is not only a choice ingredient in cosmetics; it also bodes well for our eyes, hearts and nerves.

As a powerful antioxidant, vitamin E neutralises the oxidant effect of free radicals, which destroy the healthy cells in our bodies, and helps protect us from heart diseases and skin damage. As our bodies cannot produce this vitamin, we need to make sure we get enough of it in our diet.

Benefits of Vitamin E
Protects and repairs skin. Vitamin E is perhaps best known for how it benefits our skin. It prevents free radicals from damaging collagen, skin dryness and wrinkles. It also protects our skin from the harmful effects of the sun’s radiation. These skin-saving benefits are thought to be accentuated when used alongside vitamins A and C.
Protects against or delays heart disease. Vitamin E helps protect LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or ‘bad cholesterol’) from free radical damage. When free radicals attack, oxidised LDL cholesterol accumulates in our blood vessels and hardens the arteries. Vitamin E also prevents the formation of blood clots which can lead to heart attacks. An Israeli study found that vitamin E supplements reduced the risk of heart diseases and death by heart attacks in about 40% of diabetic patients.
Keeps nervous system healthy. Vitamin E protects the myelin sheaths that surrounds our nerves and also delays mental degradation due to ageing. Studies have shown that vitamin E can delay the progression of dementia by several months.
Maintains vision and keeps our eyes healthy. Some studies have also shown that vitamin E reduces the progression of age-related macular degeneration – or AMD, a leading cause of vision loss among seniors – and cataract formation. Most researchers attribute this to vitamin E being a prime source of antioxidants. 


The Institute of Medicine at Washington, D. C. recommends a daily intake of 15mg of vitamin E for individuals above 14 years of age, and 19mg for lactating women.[1] Vitamin E is widely available in food items, with vegetable oils, nuts and seeds among the best sources.

Food Sources of Vitamin E

Foods Serving size Vitamin E content (mg)
Sunflower seeds ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons 12.3
Almonds ¼ cup or 4 tablespoons 6
Sunflower oil 1 tablespoon 5.6
Spinach, boiled 1 cup 3.8
Avocado 1 cup or 150g 3.1
Olive oil 1 tablespoon 1.9


Vitamin E in food degrades over time, thus it is important for us to cook and store items properly. For example, olive oil stored in closed bottles loses about 20–30% of its vitamin E over six months. Try using a container with an unsealed spout instead. Cooking at high temperatures also destroys vitamin E, so don’t bank on fried foods as a source of the vitamin!


Don’t overdose!
Despite its benefits, too much vitamin E may not be a good thing. The recent Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial found that men who take these supplements are at higher risk of prostate cancer. 


[1] The Health Promotion Board has not stipulated a recommended dose of vitamin E.




Posted by ezyhealth on Aug 7 2014. Filed under Nutrition, Wellness. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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