Vitamin E: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the normal functioning of the body. The major role of vitamin E is to act as an antioxidant.
Antioxidant activity of vitamin E scavenges free radicals and protects the cells from damage at the genetic level.
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin, dissolves in fats and stores in the fatty tissues and liver. Cereals, eggs, fruits, meat, poultry, vegetables, and vegetable oils are rich sources of vitamin E.
Benefits and Uses of Vitamin E
1. Vitamin E for Eyes
Vitamin E is a nutrient with antioxidant activity. It protects the eye cells from the damage of free radicals and maintains eye health.
It helps in the self-repairing of damaged eye tissues of the cornea, retina and uvea (the pigmented area of the eye).
Vitamin E supplements have been used to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and to treat retinopathy of prematurity – an eye disorder in newborns.
2. Vitamin E for Kidney or Liver Disease
It is believed that vitamin E has a role in slowing down the progression of liver diseases. Moreover, vitamin E shows no effect on alcoholic liver disease, but it may improve symptoms of non-alcoholic liver disease.
Vitamin E is significantly important in the treatment of chronic hepatitis B.
3. Vitamin E for Cancer and Heart Disease
Vitamin E supplementation reduces the potential risk of cardiovascular diseases and maintains heart health.
It is still unclear that the use of vitamin E supplements reduces the risk of cancer in humans.
4. Vitamin E for Skin
Vitamin E is considered an anti-aging nutrient. It moisturizes the skin and gives temporary relief from skin itching. It is only used for itching caused by dry skin; it cannot be used to treat itching caused by certain infections and allergic reactions.
In addition, vitamin E helps in scar healing by reducing inflammation, inhibiting collagen production, and moisturizing the skin.
5. Vitamin E for nail health
Vitamin E has a hydrating property that increases moisture content to the nail bed and the skin around the nails to restore dry cuticles.
Vitamin E can eliminate the yellowing of nails caused by yellow nail syndrome.
Side Effects of Vitamin E
Vitamin E supplements are generally considered safe if they are taken in an appropriate amount at the recommended daily dose.
- If the dose is greater than 300 IU/day, it is not considered safe. Low doses may also trigger the prevalence of side effects. Side effects associated with vitamin E supplementation include diarrhea, stomach pain, nausea, headache, weakness, fatigue, vomiting, and bleeding.
- Vitamin E has a role in slowing the process of blood clotting and may cause bleeding. So, the use of vitamin E supplements should be avoided in people taking warfarin or clopidogrel – blood thinners.
- In order to prevent excessive bleeding, it is recommended to stop taking vitamin E supplements two weeks before surgery.
Vitamin E Supplements
Vitamin E supplements are available in the pharmacy section of various stores. People taking vitamin E supplements should always use them as recommended by the doctor.
It is advised to take vitamin E with food. A synthetic form of vitamin E is present in vitamin E supplements. In comparison to naturally occurring vitamin E, people need about 50% more synthetic forms of vitamin E to obtain the same health benefits.
It is better to consult your doctor before taking vitamin E supplements.