Vitamin E


Vitamin E is soluble in fat with many forms, out of which alpha-tocopherol is the only form used by humans.

They majorly support as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize free radicals that can be lethal to human cells. It also plays a vital role in boosting the immune system, interrupting clot formation in heart arteries. (“Diet. Ref. Intakes Vitam. C, Vitam. E, Selenium, Carotenoids,” 2000) The antioxidant property of vitamins came into the picture in 1980, when researchers understand the free-radical can lead to atherosclerosis, cancer, or other chronic diseases. Since vitamin E can neutralize the effect of free radicals also reduces the production of free radicals. Still, due to ongoing conflicting studies, it stops the consumption of vitamin E in chronic diseases. (Verhagen H, Buijsse B, Jansen E, Bueno-de-Mesquita B. The state of antioxidant affairs. Nutr Today 2006; 41:244-50.) Alpha-tocopherol inhibits protein kinase C, hence inhibiting cell proliferation and differentiation in smooth cells and monocytes. It increases the release of prostacyclin and suppresses arachidonic acid metabolism, thus dilating blood vessels and therefore inhibiting the platelet aggregation. “Diet. Ref. Intakes Vitam. C, Vitam. E, Selenium, Carotenoids,” 2000)

The liver releases the vitamin E serum concentration when the small intestine absorbs the various materials. The liver recreates only the alpha-tocopherol with the help of transfer protein which is alpha-tocopherol transfer protein. But the liver excretes the other vitamin forms

(Blaner, 2013)(Traber, 2007)

(Vitamin E | The Nutrition Source | Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, n.d.)

Sources of vitamin-E

Food as a source:

Vitamin E can be consumed from nuts, seeds, vegetable oil as alpha-tocopherol. Also, some amount is present in leafy vegetables and fortified cereals. (FoodData Central, n.d.)

American diet mainly contains corn, soybean, canola, and vegetable oil as the source of vitamin E, present in gamma-tocopherol. (Dietrich et al., 2006)

The list of nutrients containing food products is available on the FoodData Central website in the U.S. Department Of agriculture.

Supplement: it provides the alpha-tocopherol, mixed products with other tocopherols. The synthetic alpha-tocopherol is active by half of the natural compound. Alpha-tocopherol in supplemented form or fortified food is prolonged in its shelf-life, protecting its antioxidant properties. The Body use and hydrolyzed these esters similar to alpha tocopherol,

Vit-E deficiency:

Vitamin E deficiency is found in healthy people who consume a tiny amount of vitamin E. Premature birth of babies generally found low in vitamin E. Consumption of vitamin E can reduce some complications like affecting the retina and increases the risk of infection. (Brion et al., 2003). Vitamin E needs fats to get absorbed; people suffering from fat-malabsorption usually face deficiency with such disorders. It results in the symptoms like ataxia, skeletal myopathy, impairment of immune response. People who have Crohn’s disease, inability to secrete bile from the liver often passes grey stool; these people require water-soluble Vitamin E. People suffering from abetalipoproteinemia require more amount of Vitamin E due to poor absorption of fats. Vitamin E deficiency can also result in nerve impulse, retinal degradation that can lead to blindness. People were suffering from Ataxia and vitamin E deficiency (AVED) face nerve damage and sometimes lose the ability to walk. Then they need a large amount of Vitamin E supplement. (Kowdley et al., 1992). “Diet. Ref. Intakes Vitam. C, Vitam. E, Selenium, Carotenoids,” 2000). Traber MG. Vitamin E. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins R, eds. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006;396-411(Neurologic Findings in Vitamin E Deficiency – PubMed, n.d.).(Cavalier et al., 1998)

In health benefits:

It plays a role in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and immune enhancement.

Heart diseases:

It is evident that It is helpful in the oxidation of low-density lipoprotein(LDL)cholesterol. Vitamin E prevents atherosclerosis. Consumption of Vitamin e precludes the formation of the blood clot hence [preventinh heart attack.

A study performed with 90,000 nurses founded consumption of vitamin E decreased 30-40% chances of heart diseases. (Glynn et al., 2007) (Stampfer et al., 1993).


Vitamin E constitutes the antioxidant property that helps to protect the cell from damaging effects; this can reduce the chances of cancer.

Vitamin E blocks the nitrosamine, a carcinogenic compound formed in the stomach from nitrites in food, hence protecting against cancer. (Effect of Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene on DNA Strand Breakage Induced by Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines and Stimulated Human Phagocytes – PubMed, n.d.)(Effect of Vitamin E and Beta-Carotene on DNA Strand Breakage Induced by Tobacco-Specific Nitrosamines and Stimulated Human Phagocytes – PubMed, n.d.)

In HOPE-TOO trials, it has been found that people of >55 yrs of age were given 400 IU/day of vitamin E, and there was no observation of cancer or cancer death, even f the patients were suffering from heart disease and diabetes for more than seven years. (Lonn, 2005)

A study on low stated that women consuming Vitamin E as a food or food supplement decrease the risk of colon cancer in women <65 years of age. (Reduced Risk of Colon Cancer with High Intake of Vitamin E: The Iowa Women’s Health Study – PubMed, n.d.)


Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are common causes of loss of vision in aged people. Although exact etiology is not known, the cumulative oxidative effect plays a crucial role. So Vitamin E can act as an antioxidant and helpful in treating such conditions. 

Many studies reveal the relation between vitamin E consumption and eye disorders. One cohort study revealed people with vitamin E supplements develop more clarity in the lens than people with high blood levels of vitamin E.

(Leske et al., 1998)

Cognitive decline:

In the brain, there is an increased level of oxygen consumption rate and fatty acids in the neural cell membrane. Research revealed that free radicals can damage the neuron resulting in Alzheimer disease, In such cases, consumption of Vitamin E supplement can be quite helpful. (Sano et al., 1997)

(Vitamin E – Health Professional Fact Sheet, n.d.)

Possible Effects:

In Alzheimer’s disease: THere is no evidence that it decreases the occurrence of Alzheimer’s but is possibly effective in reducing the worsening of memory loss if it is consumed along with some anti-Alzheimer medicine in Alzheimer’s suffering patients.

Blood Disorder:

 IT causes a reduction in hemoglobin. Consumption of vitamin e by mouth can benefit children suffering from a blood disorder or beta-thalassemia.

Menstrual cramps(dysmenorrhea):

consumption of Vitamin E 2 days before bleeding and three days after bleeding decreases the pain and reduces menstrual blood loss. It is more effective while taking with fish oil.

Excessive Vitamin-E

In animal studies, it is found that vitamin E can cause bleeding and interrupt blood coagulation, while in in-vitro studies, high doses inhibit platelet aggregation. It was proved in the clinical trial when the male smoker consumed 50 mg/day for an average of 6 years and another problem in which group of male physicians in the United States who consumed 400 IU (180 mg) of synthetic vitamin E every other day for eight years. (Vitamin E – Health Professional Fact Sheet, n.d.)


Anticoagulant and antiplatelet medicines:

Vitamin E is inhibiting vitamin K-dependent clotting factors. So taking Vitamin – E with warfarin increases the risk of bleeding if taken along with vitamin K intake.

Simvastatin and niacin:

People usually take vitamin E with vitamin C, selenium, and beta-carotene, increasing the high-density lipoprotein cholesterol level; more chances are observed in people consuming simvastatin and niacin.

Chemotherapy and radiopathy:

Vitamin E consumption, along with radiopathy and chemopathy is generally avoided in cancer treatment because it can act as an antioxidant, affecting the oxidative damage effect on cancerous cells.


As per the guidelines of recommended dietary allowances (RDA) and tolerable upper intake limits (UL) for vitamin E in milligrams (mg), still, some uses international unit. The daily recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for natural vitamin E (RRR-alpha-tocopherol) in adults are:

  • 15 mg (22 IU) in men and women.
  • 15 mg (22 IU) in pregnant women.
  • 19 mg (28 IU) in breastfeeding women.

In the case of vitamin E deficiency, a typical dose in adults is 60-75 IU of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) per day.

IN ataxia in Vitamin e deficiency: 800-1500 mg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol daily.

Movement disorder caused by antipsychotic drug: the 1600 IU of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) daily. In male infertility: 298-894 IU of vitamin E daily.