Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is considered the "vitamin of youth" for its properties and benefits in reducing the symptoms of deterioration that we suffer over time.
It is distinguished by its work as an antioxidant and to combat the immunosuppression that occurs in the last stages of life.
- What is Vitamin E?
- Benefits of Vitamin E
- Vitamin E deficiency
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What is Vitamin E?
It is a type of fat-soluble vitamin, which means that it accumulates in fatty tissue so that the body can use it when needed.
In fact, vitamin E consists of a group of 8 types of molecules divided into two groups:
Of these, the form of Alpha-Tocopherol is considered to be vitamin E itself, and tends to accumulate in non-hepatic tissues, particularly where the generation of free radicals, such as mitochondrial membranes and the endoplasmic reticulum of the heart and lungs, is greater.
In addition to providing protection against free radicals, it reduces oxidative cell damage, which can affect the integrity of the tissues that make up our body.
There are many other functions associated with this vitamin that are also involved in slowing the symptoms of aging, leading to substantial improvement in appearance (skin).
Likewise, the normal function of the body's organs, the regulation of immune function, the maintenance of endothelial cell integrity and the balance of normal coagulation.
In addition to its antioxidant effect, vitamin E has multiple benefits for the heart, blood, muscles, nerves, and body tissues.
What are the properties of vitamin E?
Vitamin E, being able to oxidize in the body, acts as a kind of "bodyguard" for other substances, since it acts as an antioxidant because, when destroyed, it protects polyunsaturated fats and other liposoluble substances such as lavitamin A from destruction by oxygen.
The benefits of vitamin E or tocopherol are many, since in the body this vitamin performs many functions such as helping to form red blood cells and regulating the synthesis of prostanoids.
These are important compounds in the reproductive processes; for this reason, this vitamin has long been considered the fertility vitamin.
The main aspects of vitamin E
- Vitamin E is found in eight different forms: four tocopherols (α-, β-, γ- and δ-) and four tocotrienols (α-, β-, γ- and δ-). Alpha-tocopherol is the only active form in the body, so it is found in greater amounts in the blood and tissues.
- Vitamin E is part of the cell membranes and protects them from oxidation.
- Besides being the most important antioxidant, it also protects the body from free radicals generated by metabolic processes or environmental factors.
- Vitamin E improves blood circulation and fluidity
- Due to its anti-inflammatory effect, vitamin E is essential for fighting rheumatic diseases.
- Studies have shown that only fifty percent of the population consumes the necessary dose of vitamin E that the body needs.
- Since vitamin E cannot be produced by the body, it must be supplied by food.
- It strengthens the immune system, protects the blood vessels from harmful fat deposits and maintains and repairs muscles, nerves, skin, hair and mucous membranes.
- Vitamin E is mainly found in plants and vegetable oils.
Where is the vitamin E?
Some of the most important sources for finding this vitamin are
- Vegetable oils, including olive oil, sunflower oil and safflower oil
- Whole grains, such as barley, wheat germ or oats.
- Egg yolk
- Fruits like avocado and papaya.
- Milk and butter
- Vegetables, such as peanuts, beans or chickpeas.
- Nuts, especially almonds and walnuts
- Seeds, such as sunflower or chia seeds
- Green leafy vegetables such as spinach, kale or chard.
- Fish (mostly blue) such as swordfish or trout and herring
Benefits of Vitamin E
This is, without a doubt, one of the greatest benefits that this vitamin offers to improve our health.
In particular, its field of action consists of neutralizing the effect of free radicals, which are unstable molecules due to their atomic imbalance and, therefore, try to regenerate themselves from other adjacent cells.
They "steal" the electrons, negatively modifying the behavior of the cell from which these elements are extracted, which could even end in the death of the cell. This condition causes a chain reaction that extends through the tissues.
Vitamin E (tocopherol) has a strong antioxidant effect in the lungs, where cells are exposed to high levels of oxygen that can damage them.
In addition to protecting the red blood cells that carry oxygen to all the cells in the body, it also protects the body's white blood cells, which are responsible for the body's defense against certain diseases, to boost the immune system.
Vitamin E plays an important role in maintaining the condition of the skin. It strengthens the wall of the skin's blood capillaries, improving moisture support and promoting elasticity.
Another important effect is the reduction of inflammation at the cellular level, resulting in younger looking skin.
Prolonged exposure to the sun's ultraviolet rays, as well as other external agents such as smoke (tobacco, environmental pollution), are factors in skin deterioration, including the appearance of spots and wrinkles, and even other signs such as acne and eczema.
Vitamin E contributes to the rapid regeneration of the epidermal tissue (the outermost layer of the skin), allowing for more effective healing of damaged tissue.
The skin is a faithful reflection of time, marks due to our appearance (weight gain, pregnancy, diseases), stretch marks, wrinkles, scars... All these problems can be improved with vitamin E.
Strengthening of the hair
Hair fragility and hair loss are two very important aspects that are often given great importance, given their close relationship with our appearance.
In such cases, regular use of vitamin E can help alleviate these problems.
The main mechanism of help is, as we have seen, to reduce the effect of free radicals that cause damage to the scalp, maintaining the health of the hair follicles, since blood circulation improves in this area, stimulating the growth of stronger and healthier hair.
If the scalp is kept dry, the sebaceous glands will be forced to produce more oil than necessary, blocking the hair follicles.
This leads to other problems such as itching and dandruff, and eventually hair loss.
Vitamin E also affects the endocrine and nervous systems, exerting a modulating action to regulate hormonal balance. It should be noted that normal nerve development is dependent on vitamin E.
Among other effects, the involvement of vitamin E and hormonal balance may be reflected in :
- Menstrual syndrome symptoms: reduced pain, anxiety, cravings for sweets... It also leads to its regulation, so it is impotent in women.
- Weight gain, water retention
- Changes in the skin
- Feeling tired
- Anxiety disorders
It is essential to take care of oneself from the inside in order to see it reflected on the outside.
Other Health Benefits of Vitamin E
Other health benefits of vitamin E are its involvement in energy production and the synthesis of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) and ribonucleic acid (RNA).
Due to its great capacity to act as an antioxidant, it protects cell membranes from oxidation and is speculated to have favorable effects against cancer or heart disease.
What is vitamin E used for? It is recommended for..:
- In case of immunodeficiency
- In fat absorption disorders
- Preventive in nature, against cardiovascular diseases and various types of cancer
- During pregnancy and breastfeeding
- Senile dementia
- To fight stress
- In premenstrual syndrome
- In case of thromboprophylaxis
- For people who are on a diet
- During prolonged use of certain medications, such as contraceptives or anti-epileptic drugs
Vitamin E deficiency
The symptoms of vitamin E deficiency are not very obvious, and the diagnosis is complicated by the role of mineralselenium in vitamin E metabolism.
Suspected vitamin E deficiency symptoms include
- Muscle weakness,
- Increased destruction of cell membranes
- Abnormal fat disposition in the muscles,
- Rupture of red blood cells.
That is why it is important to follow a healthy diet and nutrition, rich in foods containing vitamin E to avoid the risk of deficiency or disease.
Compared to other fat-soluble vitamins, vitamin E is relatively non-toxic when taken through nutrition.
Due to its popularity as a pro-fertility agent and its supposed beneficial effects on sexual potency, many people tend to ingest doses much higher than the RDA and without adverse effects.
However, at high doses and for long periods of time, it can be inferred from the activity of vitamin K, which could lead to blood clotting problems and risks.
Because the body cannot produce vitamin E, we must provide it through food or supplements.
Recommended dose of vitamin E
The recommended daily quantity of CDR is 30 international units. But this dose is insufficient for active and healthy people, and especially for sportsmen.
Athletes usually consume between 200 and 500 IU and when they recover from an injury or train at high altitude, they usually ingest between 600 and 1200 IU because this promotes oxygen transport in the blood.
Therefore, it compensates for the reduction in airflow at that altitude. People who are larger and heavier are more likely to take a higher dose of vitamin E.
Usefulness of Vitamin E in Sports
As with all vitamins, studies have shown that adequate vitamin intake contributes to the maintenance of optimal health and therefore is beneficial to physical performance.
However, there is evidence that a higher dose than that given by the CDR to long distance or endurance athletes, as well as those forced to compete at altitudes above sea level, helps to improve their performance.
Of particular interest to athletes is the fact that this vitamin has been shown to lower blood lactate levels and reduce the formation of certain wastes generated during exercise, as well as reduce cell damage caused by oxidation and maintain healthy muscle tissue.
During recovery from an injury or surgery, as well as in sports where significant muscle loss is required, higher than average vitamin E intake promotes recovery and muscle work, while reducing muscle stiffness and damage.
Expert Opinion on Vitamin E
Vitamin E inhibits the development of cholesterol, thus reducing heart disease.
A clinical study of 40,000 participants found that LDL cholesterol is harmless as long as there is enough vitamin E to fight it.
Study participants who took vitamin E regularly experienced a 37% reduction in heart disease.
Vitamin E deficiency during pregnancy can cause asthma in children.
Recent research has shown that women who take too little vitamin E during pregnancy increase their child's risk of developing asthma.
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