Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that functions as an antioxidant in the body. It helps to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals, which can contribute to the development of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
Function of Vitamin E
- Antioxidant Activity: Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, which means that it helps to protect the body against damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are unstable molecules that can damage cells and contribute to the development of chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
- Immune System Function: Vitamin E is important for immune system function, as it helps to stimulate the production and function of white blood cells, which are responsible for fighting off infections and diseases.
- Skin Health: Vitamin E is important for skin health, as it helps to protect the skin from damage caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays and other environmental stressors. It is often used in skincare products and supplements to promote healthy skin.
- Eye Health: Vitamin E may also be beneficial for eye health, as it has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness in older adults.
Sources of Vitamin E
- Nuts and Seeds: Vitamin E is found in high amounts in nuts and seeds, including almonds, sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, and peanuts.
- Vegetable Oils: Vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil, safflower oil, and olive oil, are good sources of vitamin E.
- Leafy Greens: Some leafy greens, such as spinach and broccoli, contain vitamin E.
- Fortified Foods: Some foods, such as cereal, are fortified with vitamin E to help people meet their daily needs.
Vitamin E supplements are also available in various forms, including capsules, tablets, and oil drops. The recommended daily intake of vitamin E for adults is 15 mg (22.4 IU) per day. However, some studies suggest that higher intakes of vitamin E may provide additional health benefits. As with any nutrient, it’s important to obtain vitamin E from food sources whenever possible and to talk to a healthcare professional before taking supplements.