Vitamin E - do we really need it?

What exactly is vitamin E anyway?

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects our cells membranes from damage.  Vitamin E is made up of a group of 8 fat-soluble vitamins. It is mostly important for cells that carry oxygen like the cells of lungs and red blood cells. It has a role in our immune function, DNA repair and other metabolic processes.

Adequate amounts of vitamin E can help keep skin heal and help scaring, it can also protect against heart disease, cancer, Alzheimer’s and age related eye damage.

Antioxidants, including vitamin E are obtained through eating a well balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, rather than from supplements. Foods highest in vitamin E includes; tofu, spinach, almonds, sunflower seeds, avocados, shellfish rainbow trout, olive oil, broccoli and  pumpkin.

Should I take a vitamin E supplement?

So far, the only confirmed benefits of vitamin E supplements are in people who have an actual deficiency. Vitamin E deficiencies are rare and are more likely in people who have digestive problems, people on very low-fat diets and cystic fibrosis sufferers.

Are there side effects to overdosing on vitamin E?

Too much vitamin E from supplements can lead to excessive bleeding, or hemorrhaging, headache, fatigue, nausea and kidney failure. Topical vitamin E may irritate the skin badly.

Vitamin E supplements should not be taken in early pregnancy, and there have been studies to prove an increased risk in prostate cancer in men who took a multivitamin PLUS an extra vitamin E supplement.

In our opinion, it would be best to make sure your diet was full of high-density vitamin E foods and avoid the supplements, unless advised alternatively by your health care professional.  There seem to be more results pointing towards horrible side effects from overdose of vitamin E, rather than benefits of having more than your fair share. So keep eating clean and real food and reap the rewards. Happy olive oil drizzling people!