Vitamin E complex encompasses a group of 8 compounds found in nature and is one of just a handful of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, and K are the others). It serves as an antioxidant in the body. Antioxidants help protect cell membranes against damaging effects of free radicals in the body. Thanks to the American high-fat, low-nutrient diet most people consume, it’s expected that the average adult falls short of their recommended daily dose of vitamin E. While a true deficiency is rare, it’s worth your time to eat foods that contain vitamin E thanks to its many health benefits including:
· Maintaining the health and maintenance of the muscles of the body and heart
· Supports the formation of oxygen-carrying red blood cells
· Maintains your body’s stores of vitamins A and K, plus selenium and iron
· Helps prevent oxidative damage that can lead to heart disease, some types of cancer, help to relieve Alzheimer’s symptoms and prevent certain diabetes-related damage.
How much vitamin E do I need?
If you aren’t getting enough vitamin E from your diet, you may consider adjusting your diet to include more vitamin E-rich foods. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance is 15mg for teens and adults age 14 and older, 15mg for pregnant women of any age, and 19mg for breastfeeding women of any age. Most people can get all the vitamin E their body needs in a day by following a healthy diet, but if you would like to know more about how your body uses vitamin E, you can consider a simple genetic nutrition test. These tests will give you more information your body’s unique needs and help guide future health decisions. And remember: you should never start or stop any medications or supplements without the approval of your doctor. If you have questions, always talk with them first.
What can I eat to raise my vitamin E levels?
If you hit the drive-thru on a regular basis, there’s a good chance you aren’t getting enough vitamin E or most of your other vitamins for that matter. To boost these levels naturally, consider making a few healthy changes. You can find vitamin E in:
· Vegetable Oils
· Green leafy vegetables like broccoli or spinach
· Fortified breakfast cereals & juices
Does vitamin E carry any risk?
If you take in vitamin E naturally through your diet, there aren’t any issues. However, taking high doses of vitamin E supplements can cause health complications if you aren’t being monitored by a healthcare professional. Some of the side effects include increased the risk of bleeding, bleeding in the brain, and risks of birth defects from high levels of vitamin E.
This all goes to show that vitamins, while helpful and essential for the health of your body, aren’t to be taken lightly. As with all supplements, taken in excess will have diminishing benefits and may even be harmful. Take the time to research what’s right for your unique needs, eat a healthy diet, and follow the recommendations of your trusted healthcare provider.