Vitamin E is a vital nutrient with multiple functions in the human body. Research suggests a daily intake of vitamin E supplements can improve overall health in many ways.
Vitamin E is essential for the development and normal functioning of the body. Many people think of vitamin E as a single compound. However, it is a group of eight fat-soluble compounds, of which alpha-tocopherol best suits human dietary needs. With its powerful antioxidant effects, vitamin E combats free radicals, reducing the risk of certain cancers and heart diseases. While you can meet your daily vitamin E requirements through meals, supplements are a good option for those who can’t. Some of the reasons for adding a vitamin E capsule to your everyday regimen are:
- A decline in oxidative stress
It occurs in case of an imbalance between the body’s antioxidant defence and the creation and accumulation of compounds known as reactive oxygen species (ROS). This imbalance can result in increased disease risk and cellular damage. As vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, it can improve the body’s antioxidant defence and reduce oxidative stress.
- Reduction of risk factors associated with heart disease
High levels of lipids like triglycerides and LDL cholesterol and elevated blood pressure increase the risk of heart disease. Research shows that vitamin E supplements can help reduce these risk factors in some people.
- Benefit to people suffering from NAFLD
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) refers to health conditions that lead to a buildup of fat in the liver of those who don’t or barely consume alcohol. Some research shows that vitamin E supplements can help improve the health of those suffering from NAFLD.
- Management of dysmenorrhea
It refers to a condition where women experience frequent and severe menstrual pain in the pelvic region and cramps. Research shows that vitamin E supplements can reduce pain during mensuration, relieving extreme PMS symptoms like anxiety, cravings, and cramping.
- Decrease in the risk of certain cancers
A powerful antioxidant, vitamin E combats free radicals, oxidation and cell damage, which may lead to cancer and other serious health concerns. Evidence also suggests that lower levels of vitamin E can be linked to an increased risk of cancer.
- Treatment or prevention of eye disorders
Cataracts and macular degeneration (AMD) are two of the most common age-related eye disorders linked to free radical damage and oxidative stress. The antioxidant activity of vitamin E makes it a great candidate for treating and preventing these conditions. According to a study, vitamin E reduces the cellular oxidative stress of the retina. Other studies have discovered a link between increased consumption of vitamin E and a lower progression rate of AMD. Moreover, vitamin E supports the cornea, retina, and uvea’s self-repair mechanism.
- Delay or prevention of cognitive decline
Cognitive health describes the ability to learn, think, and remember things. Optimal vitamin E levels help protect the brain against cognitive decline. However, further research is still needed to determine the vitamin E supplementation and slow progression or onset of age-related cognitive decline.
- Improvement of skin health
Dermatologists have been prescribing vitamin E for decades. Apart from the vitamin’s ability to protect the skin against free radicals, vitamin E can also help wounds heal faster. The nutrient has strong anti-inflammatory properties and promotes the production of collagen.
How much vitamin E is needed by the body?
The recommended daily intake (RDI) of vitamin E depends on the age and other coinciding factors. Here’s the RDI as per the National Institutes of Health:
- 0 to 6 months: 4 mg
- 7 to 12 months: 5 mg
- 1 to 3 years: 6 mg
- 4 to 8 years: 7 mg
- 9 to 13 years: 11 mg
- Over 14 years: 15 mg
While there are numerous benefits of taking a vitamin E capsule daily, consuming too much can have harmful side effects too. For this reason, it is highly advisable to consult a doctor before adding vitamin E to your daily regimen.