Vitamin E: benefits, dosage, deficiency

What are the benefits of vitamin E? How to get it and what dose is recommended? Here is everything you need to know about this vitamin.


What is vitamin E used for?

The Vitamin E is a substance found in nature in 8 forms: 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. The most common form is alpha-tocopherol. Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant. It neutralizes free radicals that destabilize lipid molecules, especially in cell membranes. These antioxidant properties are also used in the food industry: vitamin E is added to foods to prevent the oxidation of fatty acids, a reaction commonly referred to as ‘rancidity’.

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Based on the 2012 study, gamma tocopherol and tocotrienols help to Fight Alzheimer’s Disease |. According to the 2010 study, they would also allow to prevent cirrhosis (caused by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). Vitamin E has also been shown to be effective in the treatment of menstrual pain (studies in Tehran in 2001 and 2005).

Due to its antioxidant effect, vitamin E helps fight cataracts, osteoarthritis and coronary heart disease.

In addition, vitamin E has benefits for the skin: it slows down aging, makes the skin more elastic and facilitates healing. For example, there are vitamin E masks for the face. This vitamin is also good for healthy hair. In addition, vitamin E along with other vitamins A, C and D helps maintain good hearing.

What is our need for vitamin E?

The following is the Satisfactory Vitamin E Intake (AS) published by ANSES (National Agency for Food, Environment and Occupational Health) by sex and age in milligrams per day:

  • children under 6 months: 4 mg / day;
  • Children 6 months of age and older: 5 mg daily;
  • children from 1 to 3 years: 7 mg daily;
  • children 4 to 6 years: 7 mg daily;
  • children 7 to 10 years: 9 mg daily;
  • adolescents 11 to 14 years of age: 10 mg daily;
  • adolescents 15 to 17 years of age: 10 mg daily;
  • adolescents 15 to 17 years of age: 8 mg daily;
  • Men 18 years and older: 10 mg / day;
  • Women 18 years and older: 9 mg / d;
  • pregnant women: 9 mg / day;
  • for breast-feeding women: 9 mg / d.

What are the signs of vitamin E deficiency?

The vitamin E deficiency is very rare and occurs only after a few years without use. It is most common in people with diseases that are characterized by poor fat absorption, such as Crohn’s disease, celiac disease and cystic fibrosis. Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include a burning sensation in the feet and hands and neurological problems (weakness of the reflexes and muscles).

In infants, vitamin E deficiency can lead to a form of hemolytic anemia and muscle weakness. Premature babies may experience cerebral haemorrhage and abnormal growth of blood vessels in the eye (retinopathy of premature babies).

Which foods are rich in vitamin E?

It contains natural vitamin E. certain oils : wheat germ oil, argan oil, sunflower oil, avocado oil, rapeseed oil, almond oil, safflower oil, cottonseed oil … sources of vitamin E.there are also dry soybeans, peanuts, almonds, sunflowers, spinach, peppers or even tuna.

Where to find Vitamin E?

Vitamin E with food is usually enough to meet the body’s needs. Therefore, the use of supplements is not recommended. However, vitamin E is available in the form of gums, capsules, tablets or liquid for instillation. These supplements can be synthetic (dl-alpha) or made from an oil that is naturally rich in vitamin E (dl-alpha-tocopherol). Natural vitamin E is more expensive but stronger and easier to absorb than synthetic. Some products are available online without a prescription. others are available by prescription from pharmaciessuch as solutions for injection.

In the form of an oil cosmetic vitamin E also very common. Due to its antioxidant effect, it allows better preservation of preparations (balms, creams, care oils, massage oils, etc.), but also slow down skin aging, for the care of dry skin or after sunburn. Organic natural vitamin E is made from organic vegetable oils. It is available at organic grocery stores and online stores.

What are the risks of overdose?

The food supplements provide 1.5 to 1,500 IU of vitamin E per day. Doses of 400 IU are considered high. It is recommended not to exceed 1500 IU (1000 mg) per day. Therefore, the dose depends on the amount of vitamin E in the capsule or tablet. For example, a 200 IU (International Units) or 134 mg vitamin E capsule will be taken once a day.

Excessive doses of vitamin E can cause indigestion, headaches, fatigue, chest pain, high blood pressure or emotional disturbances. The risk of stroke may be increased by consuming at least 75 IU (international units) of vitamin E daily for several months.

Vitamin E supplements are not recommended for people taking anticoagulants, anti-tuberculosis, anticonvulsants and to reduce fat absorption. Vitamin E is also not recommended for use with supplements containing garlic, ginkgo, onion or ginseng.

The French health authorities advise against the use of vitamin E and selenium supplements. In fact, in 2014 A study by the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, shows that these supplements increase the risk of developing the disease. prostate cancer.

Reviewed by Anne-Christine Della Valle

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