Vitamin E is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It is found in many foods including vegetable oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. It is also available as a supplement.
Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol) that have varying levels of biological activity.
Vitamin E is best known for its antioxidant properties that help reduce free radical damage and protect the body’s cells. Although you can find it in the supplement aisle, many companies add vitamin E to their beauty products.
Unshared electrons are highly energetic and react rapidly with oxygen to form reactive oxygen species (ROS).Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation.
Applications of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is used for treating vitamin E deficiency, which is rare, but can occur in people with certain genetic disorders and in very low-weight premature infants.
Some people use vitamin E for treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels including hardening of the arteries, heart attack, chest pain, leg pain due to blocked arteries, and high blood pressure.
Vitamin E is also used for treating diabetes and its complications. It is used for preventing cancer, particularly lung and oral cancer in smokers; colorectal cancer and polyps; and gastric, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
Some people use vitamin E for diseases of the brain and nervous system including Alzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, night cramps, restless leg syndrome, and for epilepsy, along with other medications. Vitamin E is also used for Huntington’s chorea, and other disorders involving nerves and muscles.
Women use vitamin E for preventing complications in late pregnancy due to high blood pressure (pre-eclampsia), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, menopausal syndrome, hot flashesassociated with breast cancer, and breast cysts.
Sometimes vitamin E is used to lessen the harmful effects of medical treatments such as dialysis and radiation. It is also used to reduce unwanted side effects of drugs such as hair loss in people taking doxorubicin and lung damage in people taking amiodarone.
Vitamin E is sometimes used for improving physical endurance, increasing energy, reducing muscle damage after exercise, and improving muscle strength.
Vitamin E is also used for cataracts, asthma, respiratory infections, skin disorders, aging skin, sunburns, cystic fibrosis, infertility, impotence, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS), peptic ulcers, for certain inherited diseases and to prevent allergies.
Some people apply vitamin E to their skin to keep it from aging and to protect against the skin effects of chemicals used for cancer therapy (chemotherapy).