The essential vitamin E is gaining popularity these days because people associate it with youth, beauty, and healthy skin. However, vitamin E can do more wonders for your body, other than make you pretty and healthy outside.
Vitamin E, which is often believed as a fertility vitamin, is fat soluble and acts as an antioxidant. It protects the red blood cells, essential fatty acids, and the vitamins A and C from damage by free radicals. Vitamin E contains a family of 8 antioxidants, composed of four tocopherols and four tocotienols. The only form of vitamin E that stays in the human body is alpha-tocopherol. This is the reason why alpha-tocopherol is the form of vitamin E found in the largest quantities in the blood and tissue.
Also, vitamin E functions in our body as a fat-soluble antioxidant. All throughout the body, it is located in tissues containing fat, even the protective membranes surrounding cells and their nuclei. It protects cells and other body components from the attacks of free radicals. Take note that when left unchecked, free radicals damage cell constituents, particularly those containing polyunsaturated fatty acids. In the end, this could lead to mutation that may be carcinogenic, inactivation of proteins and enzymes, and even cell death or changes in the response of cells to hormones and neurotransmitters
It has a direct chemical function by inhibiting the conversion of nitrites in smoked, cured, and pickled foods to nitrosamines in the stomach, which strongly promote the growth of tumors. It regulates gene expression and is believed to control the proliferation of smooth muscle cells involved in the development of atherosclerosis.
Studies indicate that those with high levels of vitamin E have shown lower incidence of infections because it inhibits cancer initiation through better immunocompetence. It could also lessen the gravity of prostaglandin-mediated disorders like premenstrual syndrome, circulatory irregularities, and inflammation.
Deficiency in vitamin E leads to various illnesses like beriberi, pellagra, scurvy, rickets, premature infants, fibrocystic breast disease, night cramps in the calves, and fat malabsorption syndromes to name a few. Over a long time, insufficient vitamin E has been linked to degenerative diseases such as atherosclerosis and cancer.
However, one has to be careful in taking vitamin E since over dosage could lead to toxicity.
Bottom line is, one need not overlook the benefits of vitamin E. Remember, health and beauty is not complete without “E”!