Style Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that can boost your immune system - here's how to get enough of it
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- Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging cells in your body.
- It's important for your immune system and the health of your brain, blood vessels, eyes, and skin.
- Experts recommend 15 mg of vitamin E a day from sources like red bell peppers and avocadoes.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble mineral andfound in fruits and vegetables. It has a range of benefits from boosting the immune system to lowering your risk of developing select kinds of .
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1. Vitamin E may slow the aging process of cells
Vitamin E is an, meaning it . Free radicals are highly reactive molecules produced by chemical reactions in the body. They can also come from outside sources like cigarette smoke and air pollution. When free radicals damage cells, conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease may develop.
Free radicals reduce a cell's lifespan through a process called. The process of is not clear. However, scientists do know that free radicals bind to cells in a way that causes damage to the protein and DNA inside. As an antioxidant, vitamin E
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Ain The Journals of Gerontology: Series A found that among 1,002 patients with clinically confirmed cardiovascular disease, low vitamin E consumption was linked to increased cellular aging.
2. Vitamin E can help those with macular dysfunction
is a genetic eye disease, and in severe cases, it can result in vision loss. The condition occurs when the macula region - an oval-shaped area at the center of your eye - is damaged by free radicals.
that vitamin E in combination with other nutrients could reduce the risk of vision loss by 19%. They also found that the vitamin E combo slowed the progression of macular dysfunction.
The study compared different supplements and how they affected the progression of macular dysfunction. The researchers found that a supplement containing 400 IU of vitamin E - along with other vitamins like zinc oxide, copper, vitamin C, and beta-carotene - reduced the possibility of a mild case of macular dysfunction developing into a severe case. Supplementation with only copper and zinc or antioxidants were not as effective.
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It's important to note that vitamin E isin those who already have it. It is not as effective at preventing age-related macular dysfunction in people who do not show symptoms of the disorder.
3. Vitamin E boosts immune system response
Vitamin E appears to boost levels of a type of immune cell called T lymphocytes or T cells, says, a registered dietitian and medical advisory board member for .
are white blood cells that play a role in the immune system. There are two types of T cells: regulatory and cytotoxic. Regulatory T cells manage immune reactions to foreign like and . Meanwhile, cytotoxic cells attach to cells infected by bacteria and viruses and kill the cells.
"Vitamin E helps maintain the strength and vitality of T cell membranes, helps these cells multiply correctly, and communicate to other immune processes. T cells decrease with age, so maintaining optimal intake of this vitamin is important in maintaining a well-functioning immune system," Somer says.
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Apublished in IUBMB Life found that vitamin E deficiency hindered immune response by altering the functions of T cells and antibody production. But, it also found that with vitamin E supplementation, these effects can be reversed.
Most research conducted on vitamin E's role in immune response has focused primarily on T cells. However, scientists believe vitamin E may regulate other types of immune cells too.
For more information, learn about.
4. Vitamin E may slow memory loss in individuals with Alzheimer's disease
Because the brain uses a lot of oxygen, it is highly susceptible to oxidative stress, says, MS, RDN, a spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Since vitamin E can prevent cellular damage caused by oxygen, it may help prevent cognitive decline
Apublished in JAMA with just over 560 Alzheimer's patients found that having 2000 IU per day of alpha-tocopherol - a form of vitamin E - reduced functional decline. The study tested cognitive function with daily activity assessment. It's important to note that all participants had only mild cases of Alzheimer's.
5. Vitamin E may improve blood vessel health
Vitamin E plays a vital role in theby protecting them from oxidative damage. Alongside vitamin K, it also , which reduces the possibility of blood clots.
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Apublished in Circulation found that in 213 patients who took 600 IU vitamin E daily, their risk of developing venous thromboembolism, a condition where a blood clot in the extremities travels to the lung, lowered by 21%.
While blood clotting is important because it slows bleeding after a cut or injury,when clots form in your blood vessels and then spread to the lungs or heart. This can lead to severe chest pain, coughing, and difficulty breathing.
Ain the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry assessed 15 healthy men and found that vitamin E protects against the development of impaired lining of blood vessels caused by hyperglycemia after eating. Vitamin E was effective in offsetting any spikes in blood pressure after eating, thus improving blood vessel health.
conducted in 2013 assessed 30 smokers after they stopped smoking and began taking 500 mg of vitamin E daily. It found that vitamin E supplementation along with quitting nicotine, resulted in about a 19% reduction in cardiovascular disease risk. Those who took vitamin E supplementation saw reduced levels of inflammation and better vascular function compared to those who received a placebo.
6. Vitamin E may reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS)
Vitamin E may even help reduce premenstrual symptoms (PMS) like anxiety, depression, cramping, and even cravings. Ainvolving 86 women found that vitamin E supplementation reduced premenstrual symptoms like anxiety and depression more than the placebo group or those taking vitamin D.
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Meanwhile, a 2019 study with 210 female participants published in Obstetrics and Gynecology Science indicated that consuming vitamin E two days before menstruation through three days following may help.
Vitamin E can even help with premenstrual cravings. A 2013 study published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that 75 women who consume betweenexperienced fewer cravings than normal during their period.
7. Vitamin E may prevent sunburn and UV damage
While Vitamin E cannot preventon its own, it can be used alongside sunscreen for extra UV protection.
"For protection against photoaging of the skin and sunburns due to sun exposure, it is recommended to use sunscreen daily," says, a dermatologist at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit. "Vitamin E can be used in conjunction with sunscreen to provide further benefit against oxidative damage from UV rays."
While multiple studies conducted in animals from the early 2000s found that topical use of vitamin E provided anand reduced skin problems like , evidence in humans.
However, apublished in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology suggests that combining vitamin C and E with sunscreen may prevent ultraviolet-related damage in comparison to using sunscreen alone.
How to get enough vitamin E
According to the, your daily recommendation of vitamin E varies according to age.
To ensure you're hitting daily recommendations, look for foods high in vitamin E. Some examples include:
Vitamin E supplements
While research shows, those struggling to meet daily recommendations should consider taking a supplement. A deficiency in vitamin E usually signals a more severe health problem, like
To avoid vitamin E toxicity, you should not consume more than. Although rare, can cause symptoms like nausea and fatigue. In more severe cases, it can lead to death.
"Vitamin E is very safe in a wide range of supplemental doses. The only somewhat common side effect of excess supplemental intakes is bleeding, but that happens at doses above 1,000 mg a day," says Somer.
When taken as a supplement, vitamin E increases the risk of bleeding because it reduces blood's ability to clot. Due to this bleeding risk, Somer suggests that those taking high doses of vitamin E discontinue use two weeks before surgery or extensive dental work.5 science-backed benefits of vitamin B12 and how to get enough of it in your dietThe science-backed benefits of vitamin D and how to get enough of itThe anti-aging and skin-healing effects of vitamin E4 health benefits of lemon water and how much you should drink each day
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