In our early years, we’re all made aware of the importance of following a healthy and balanced diet to our overall well-being. And we now also know that there are a number of factors that contribute to a balanced diet, one that will leave us feeling energized and keep our bodies functioning as they should - one of these primary factors being vitamins.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is found in a number of different foods. Like all nutrients, vitamin E plays a crucial role in our health and wellbeing. In particular - vitamin E is essential for vision, reproduction and even has antioxidant properties. Here’s what you need to know about the benefits of vitamin E on the body plus vitamin E sources and potential causes of deficiency.

See also: The Role of Micronutrients in the Immune System



What are the benefits of vitamin E on the body?


Vitamin E’s main role is to act as an antioxidant. This role benefits a number of aspects of our bodies and as a result - our bodies benefit in many ways from vitamin E.


Healthy vision


As a potent antioxidant, vitamin E protects eye cells from free radicals which are known to negatively impact tissues, including healthy eye tissues. According to the National Institutes of Health, studies have shown that vitamin E, along with other crucial nutrients, can possibly help slow down the rate of vision loss in those with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) [1].


Mental function


Vitamin E is believed to help with our brain health and function due to its ability to reduce oxidative stress - an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidants in the body. Previous research has shown that high doses of vitamin E may help in delaying the progression of Alzheimer’s disease in those in the mild to moderate stages of the disease [2].


Strengthen the immune system


Our bodies need vitamin E to help our immune system do its job! This essential nutrient works as an antioxidant to help protect healthy cells and supports the growth and activity of important immunity cells. Those who aren’t getting the right amount of nutrients, according to Health Harvard Publishing, are in fact at a greater risk of contracting bacterial and viral infections [3].

See also: Benefits of Nutritional Metals on the Body


What are the sources of vitamin E?


As a micronutrient, vitamin E is only needed in small amounts and so it’s usually possible to get all the vitamin E we need from diet alone. For context, the recommended daily amount of vitamin E is:

  • 4mg for men
  • 3mg for women

Some good food sources of vitamin E include:

  • Wheat germ oil
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Peanuts
  • Collard greens
  • Red bell pepper
  • Asparagus

See also: What Foods are High in Vitamin D?


What fruits are rich in vitamin E?


There are a number of delicious fruits that contain vitamin E. Try adding some of the following fruits to your diet:

  • Mango
  • Kiwi
  • Blackberries
  • Raspberries
  • Avocado

See also: Top Essential Vitamins and Minerals for Vegans


What causes vitamin E deficiency?


As vitamin E is known to occur naturally in a wide range of foods, it is rare to experience a vitamin E deficiency. Having said that, it is possible and when it occurs, it is usually a result of poor nutrition or intestinal malabsorption, according to the NHS [4].

Risk factors associated with vitamin E deficiency include:

  • Bowel disease
  • Pancreatic disease
  • Celiac disease
  • Cystic fibrosis

One of the most reliable ways to know more about your vitamin levels is through a test. This can be done with your local doctor or from home with an at-home lab test.

LetsGetChecked’s Micronutrient Test can provide specific insights into your diet and potential deficiencies of key vitamins and minerals - including vitamin E! Online results will be available within 2-5 days and our dedicated clinical team will be available to answer any questions you may have regarding the process or about your results.

You should consider taking the test if:

  • You want to identify areas for improvement of your overall health
  • You follow a vegetarian or vegan diet
  • You have recently excluded a particular food group from your diet
  • You are over 50 years of age
  • You are experiencing symptoms of a deficiency*
  • You have a condition that may impact the absorption of nutrients such as celiac or Crohn’s disease
  • You have problems absorbing nutrients from your diet


References


  1. National Institutes of Health. Vitamin E. Online: Ods.od.nih.gov
  2. National Institutes of Health. Vitamin E. Online: Ods.od.nih.gov
  3. Harvard Health Publishing. Nutrition and Immunity. Online: Hsph.harvard.edu
  4. NHS South Tees Hospitals. Vitamin E. Online: Southtees.nhs.uk