Functions of Vitamin E
- Vitamin E plays an essential role in cellular respiration of all muscles. This makes it possible for muscles and their nerves to function with less oxygen, thereby increasing endurance and stamina.
- Studies have shown that vitamin E can reduce the stickiness of blood preventing its tendency to form blood clots.
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant and effective preventing free radicals. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E may retard the aging process. Topically the vitamin can reduce scar formation (applied after the wound has closed) from burns, surgery, or other injuries.
- vitamin E is required to maintain a healthy reproductive
Sources of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is mainly found in the oily portions of foods like whole grains and seeds. The milling process reduces vitamin E content by as much as 85%. Vitamin E is high susceptible to destruction by oxygen, metal, light and deep frying; hence cooked or stored food have low vitamin E content.
The following foods are rich in vitamin E: fortified cereals, seeds and seed oils (sunflower and Wheat germ oil), nuts and nut oils, like almonds and hazelnuts, green leafy vegetables, like spinach, turnip, beet, collard, and dandelion greens, tomato products, pumpkin, sweet potato, blue crab, canola oil, rockfish, mangoes, asparagus, broccoli, papayas, Kiwi
Deficiency of Vitamin E
Due to the widespread use of vegetable oil, primary deficiency of Vitamin E is rare. Most deficiency occurs due to fat mal-absorption syndrome. Smokers and people with low fat diet are at increased risk of developing Vitamin E deficiency. Preterm infants are particular susceptible to hemolytic anemia due to Vitamin E deficiency.
Vitamin E deficiency causes neurological problems due to poor nerve conduction. These include neuromuscular problems such as spinocerebellar ataxia and myopathies.
Problems due to excess intake of Vitamin E
The vitamin has a tendency to raise blood pressure if given in supplemental form, therefore, initial intake should be low and gradually increased. High doses can interfere with iron metabolism; at dosages of 300 to 400 IU a day, nausea, intestinal distress, fatigue, weakness, and urinary abnormalities may be experienced in some individuals
Large doses of Vitamin E can counter the actions of Vitamin K and decrease the production of Vitamin K, thereby promoting hemorrhaging effects in adults. People deficient with Vitamin K are at risk from over consumption of Vitamin E.