If you’ve listened to many TV ads in the past few years, you may have noticed just how many cosmetic products have got additional vitamin E in them. But why is it good for you, and are you taking enough of this vitamin?
Before we delve any further, let’s quickly clarify what vitamin E actually is, and if we really need it. Vitamin E has several important functions. Firstly, it acts as an antioxidant, which protects cell membranes and helps to maintain healthy skin, eyes and a strong immune system. It also improves brain function, helps protects your lungs, and is highly beneficial for athletes.
Vitamin E is found in a wide variety of foods, with the richest sources being plant oils, coconut and olive oil, and various different nuts and seeds. Wheat germ is also a fantastic source, and in addition to being found in cereal products, you can also buy it as a food supplement to support your diet.
You should always be careful not to overdose this vitamin. Men, in particular, should avoid taking high doses of vitamin E or selenium supplements. Not only do they offer no health benefits to males, they can also increase the risk of prostate cancer by up to a fifth, according to American researchers. If you’re wondering just how much is too much, the recommended daily amount is 4mg for males, and 3mg for females. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take more, but your body is more than able to work at its optimum with just this small amount. For most people, you should be able to get all the vitamin E you require through your normal daily diet, so don’t worry about stocking up on supplements (especially if you’re male!). If you do take supplements, try to ensure that you take in less than 500mg a day to avoid any health complications.
Some fantastic sources of vitamin E include spinach, broccoli, sprouts, most green leafy vegetables, wholemeal products, nuts and eggs. Hopefully this list has highlighted a few good sources within your existing diet, so no change should be needed! Any vitamin E your body doesn’t require immediately is stored for future use, so you don’t require it in your diet every day. Eating a varied and balanced diet will go a long way towards avoiding deficiency.
But why are we making a fuss about vitamin E? Well, as a powerful antioxidant, it operates in cell membranes where it puts off the propagation of free radical reactions. If this statement doesn’t mean anything to you, hopefully the next one will. Vitamin E helps fight ageing! This is why beauty products are so keen to ensure there is plenty of it available in their products.
If you feel that your muscles are weak, or if you are have fertility problems, these are normal signs of deficiency. It can also cause mild haemolytic anaemia and nonspecific neurologic deficits (abnormal functioning of an area of your body). A rare genetic form of vitamin E deficiency without fat malabsorption results from defective liver metabolism, which may be a cause for deficiency in a very small number of people.
At New You Escapes, all of our foods are mineral and vitamin rich, and we use lots of nuts and green leafy vegetables to provide you the daily E vitamin dose required to boost your immune system and metabolism! For more advice on how to get Vitamin E into your diet, why not check out some of the delicious recipes available on our recipes page.