Vitamin E
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Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant, protecting vitamins A and C, red blood cells and essential fatty acids from destruction. Research from a decade ago suggested that taking antioxidant supplements, Vitamin E in particular, might help prevent heart disease and cancer. However, newer findings indicate that people who take antioxidant supplements are not better protected against heart disease and cancer than non-supplement users. On the other hand, there are many studies that show a link between regularly eating antioxidant-rich fruits and vegetables and a lower risk for heart disease, cancer and several other diseases.

Vitamin E deficiency is rare. Cases of Vitamin E deficiency only occur in premature infants and people unable to absorb fats. Large doses of Vitamin E pose a hazard to people who take blood-thinning medications. People taking statin drugs are also not advised to take supplemental Vitamin E because it may interfere with how the medication works. Anderson & Young’s article has charts detailing the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E and the upper limits of Vitamin E consumption.

Smart Kitchen’s information on Vitamin E was drawn from Fat Soluble Vitamins  by J. Anderson and L. Young of Colorado State (their original article “Fat Soluble Vitamins” can be found on the Colorado State College website).

Varieties

About 60 percent of Vitamin E in the diet comes from vegetable oil or products made with vegetable oils. Therefore, good food sources of Vitamin E include vegetable oils and margarines. Vitamin E is also found in fruits and vegetables, grains, nuts, seeds and fortified cereals.