The ABC’s of Vitamins: Vitamin E

The ABC’s of Vitamins: Vitamin E

As we continue our journey through the alphabet of vitamins, let’s take a look at Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient that the body uses for the healthy function of blood vessels, vision, the brain and skin. It has antioxidant properties, which means it helps to fight free radicals – rogue electrons from molecules that have been linked to cancer.

Foods high in Vitamin E include wheat germ, seeds, nuts, oils, some meats, fortified cereals and leafy green vegetables.

There are a few disorders (such as Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis) that disrupt the absorption of Vitamin E and may call for supplementation under a doctor’s orders.

Most people, however, get plenty of Vitamin E in their food, which is the recommended way to take in the nutrient. Studies of the effects of Vitamin E supplementation have been inconclusive about whether taking Vitamin E pills is helpful with certain health problems, such as heart disease, eye disorders and cancer.

In fact, there is evidence that taking too much Vitamin E can be harmful and lead to side effects, including fatigue, headache, diarrhea, nausea and even hemorrhaging. It can also interact negatively with certain medications.

When it comes to Vitamin E, following nature’s way of caring for the body is the best way to go. Enjoy a balanced diet, and this nutrient will most likely do its invisible work inside your body, fighting free radicals and helping your body function.