What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a type of antioxidant that works by protecting the tissues of the body from free radicals. Free radicals are harmful to the cells, organs, and tissues, and are said to be a primary factor in the body’s aging process. This vitamin is also responsible for helping the body maintain a strong immune system against bacteria and viruses.
Vitamin E’s importance comes in the formation of erythrocytes or red blood cells. It also assists the body in using vitamin K. Also, the vitamin is responsible for widening the body’s blood vessels to inhibit blood from clotting. Cells also use this vitamin to continuously perform important functions. However, although the vitamin has a lot of benefits to the body, it is still unknown if it can prevent diseases such as dementia, liver illnesses, heart illnesses, stroke, and certain cancers.
Vitamin E can be found in many types of food that are easy to find in your local grocery store or supermarket. Some of the foods rich in this vitamin are:
- Different kinds of nuts
- Various vegetable oils
- Vegetables that are green and leafy
- Fortified foods
Eating food rich in vitamin E is not harmful to the body. However, supplements with the same vitamin have another story. If supplements are taken in high dosages, it might result to serious bleeding in the brain. Also, pregnant women with high levels of the vitamin may result in their babies having birth impairments.
Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin E has a lot functions to the human body. These include gene expression, enzymatic actions, and brain functions. However, the most important function is the antioxidant function. As an antioxidant, it serves as peroxyl radical scavenger.
It prevents free radicals from propagating in the body tissues. They react with the free radicals to make tocopheryl radical. This will then be reduced to a hydrogen donor and return to its diminished form. Since the vitamin is fat-soluble, it is included in the cell-membranes, protecting them from damage. The vitamin is also was found useful as an antioxidant high in UHMWPE or ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene. This is used to endure oxidation in knee and hip replacements. The vitamin also has a big role in the functions of the brain and restricts the aggregation of platelets. Also, it prevents oxidation of the polyunsaturated fats and protects the body’s lipids.
Low levels of in vitamin E can cause many problems to the body. Nerve problems occur because of poor transfer of electrical impulses through nerves as a result of alterations in the structure and function of nerve membrane. Other effects of the vitamin’s deficiency are:
- Destruction of red blood cell
- Spinocerebellar ataxia
- Peripheral neuropathy
- Skeletal myopathy
- Disorders of the immune response
At first, supplements with the vitamin were hoped to have many positive effects on a person’s health. However, studies did not show a lot of support for this hope. Research did not show a decrease in mortality of adults taking it even at high dosages. In fact, there are slight increases in the figures in people who take high dosages of supplements.