Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that is well known for its antioxidant properties. It has enjoyed a reputation for preventing the effects of aging on skin, healing scars and scar tissue, and preventing damage to the body from free radicals – a byproduct of our bodies’ attempts to deal with the poisons and pollutants in today’s environment.
As an antioxidant, vitamin E provides some protection against heart disease, atherosclerosis, cancer, inflammatory diseases like arthritis and other effects of aging. In topical preparations, it is said to help erase wrinkles and promote healthy skin and hair. Taken internally as a supplement, vitamin E helps prevent heart disease, thins the blood and helps reduce the harmful effects of a wide range of conditions from sun exposure to hormone replacement therapy.
What Vitamin E Does:
Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, preventing the damage done by oxidation of nutrients and other chemicals in the body. Specifically, it seems to prevent damage to the eyes from age related macular degeneration, reduces the risk of heart disease and helps prevent certain cancers. Studies have shown, for instance, that patients with atherosclerosis who take vitamin E supplements show significantly less plaque build-up in their cells than those in a control group who were taking a placebo.
Antioxidants like Vitamin E are a major part of the body’s immune system. They provide protection against diseases and conditions that are associated with aging by preventing free radicals from damaging cells of the skin, eyes, liver, heart and other bodily organs.
Symptoms of Vitamin E Deficiency:
The symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include muscle weakness, loss of muscle mass, abnormal eye movements, impaired vision, and unsteady gait. In more severe cases, vitamin E deficiency can compromise the function of the liver and kidneys. Vitamin E deficiency has been associated with serial miscarriages and premature delivery in pregnant women.
Health Benefits of Vitamin E:
- Prevents the clogging of arteries that contributes to heart disease
- May reduce the risk of death from stroke in post menopausal women
- May reduce the risk of stroke in people undergoing treatment for atherosclerosis
- Inhibits the growth of cancer cells in cancers associated with hormonal causes (i.e., prostate cancer, breast cancer)
- Reduces sensitivity to the sun in photodermatitis
- May prevent osteoarthritis, and is useful for pain relief and treatment of inflamed joints
- Improves cognitive performance in patients with Alzheimer’s disease, and in conjunction with Vitamin C, may prevent the development of Alzheimer’s disease
- Helps prevent the long term consequences of menopause, and is the best option to reduce hot flashes in menopausal women
- Protects against cataracts and age related macular degeneration
- Helps control blood sugar and cholesterol levels in people with type 2 diabetes, and may help prevent damage to the eyes and nerves associated with diabetes
- Slows the effects of aging
- Improves the speed of healing wounds
- Lowers blood pressure
- Reduces scarring from wounds and injuries
- Slows progression of Parkinson’s disease
- Helpful in treating lupus
- Avoiding miscarriage in cases where vitamin E deficiency is a promoting factor