Why You Need Food Rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is especially important as an antioxidant, that is, in defending our bodies against molecules called free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that move through the body and turn other molecules into unstable free radicals too. Vitamin E can stop that cycle by remaining stable even after it gives one of its hydrogen atoms to a free radical, rendering it harmless.
Vitamin E is absorbed in the upper part of your gut. Like other fat-soluble vitamins, that absorption depends on having enough fats, bile and pancreatic juices. From the gut, Vitamin E is moved to the liver or it is moved through the bloodstream. From the blood, Vitamin E is moved into the cells of your body, where it helps protect them from free radicals. This vitamin is sometimes measured in terms of an “alpha-tocopherol equivalent.” The government Dietary Reference Intakes guide recommends 15 milligrams daily for adults.
Oils Rich in Vitamin E
Vitamin E is widely found in foods, but only from plant products. Vegetable oils are among the foods that are rich in Vitamin E. One tablespoon of canola oil or corn oil contains almost about 20 percent of a day’s recommendation. A tablespoon of sunflower oil has about half the daily need.
Other Foods Rich in Vitamin E
Wheat germ, leafy greens, nuts, egg yolks and seeds are also rich in Vitamin E. For example, one ounce of almonds contains about half the DRI recommendation. An ounce of peanuts has better than 10 percent, and a cup of cooked broccoli has about a third of the daily requirement. Vitamin E is not lost by cooking in water, but can be destroyed by deep-fat frying.
What Happens If You Don’t Get Enough?
Vitamin E deficiencies are rare. It develops not because of dietary deficiencies but as a result of other diseases or conditions. And the symptoms of Vitamin E deficiencies may take years to develop. In the neuromuscular system, symptoms may include muscle weakness and changes in balance and coordination. Vitamin E also is particularly important for red blood cells, and deficiencies can cause these cells to break apart.
Can You Overdose on Vitamin E?
This is one of the least dangerous vitamins in high doses. But if doses are very high, such more than 100 times of nutritional requirement, Vitamin E can hamper the other fat-soluble vitamins from doing their jobs. For example, high levels of Vitamin E can interfere with the clotting action of Vitamin K. More than 600 milligrams per day may cause headaches or diarrhea.
Vitamin E: Virility, Aging and Disease Prevention
Vitamin E was once touted as an aphrodisiac, especially thought to enhance male virility. But studies have shown that is not true. Studies also have failed to show that Vitamin E slows the aging process or improves physical performance. The vitamin’s role in preventing diseases remains an area of research.