Vitamin E

Vitamin E (tocopherol) is a powerful antioxidant. It is a fat soluble vitamin which is stored in the body for only a short time, requiring a regular intake.

What it does for you

Like all antioxidants, vitamin E neutralises the potentially harmful free radicals in the body. Free radicals cause changes in your cells’ DNA, which can lead to cancers.

Vitamin E is very important for keeping your cell walls in good condition and maintaining healthy nerves, skin, muscles, red blood cells, heart and circulation. It also enhances the utilisation of vitamin A.

Which foods have vitamin E?

Oils such as wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, sunflower seeds, nuts such as hazelnuts, almonds, pine nuts sweet potatoes, avocado pears and dark green vegetables such as spinach.

How much vitamin E do you need?

The recommended dietary allowance/adequate intake (RDA/AI) for this vitamin is 15mg per day for both men and women, although breastfeeding women need slightly more.

How much vitamin E is too much?

A major review of 68 studies recently found that vitamin E, given on its own or in combination, significantly increased mortality (death). For this reason, it's important to stick to recommendations for this vitamin, and to never exceed an intake of 1000mg per day.

Signs of vitamin E deficiency

Wounds that are slow to heal, varicose veins, loss of muscle tone and infertility all point to a vitamin E deficiency. Bruising easily can also be a sign of a deficiency, as well as high homocysteine levels.

Research on vitamin E

Vitamin E supplements may protect against cancer of the lung and cervix, as well as other cancers. They may also reduce the onset of cataracts and strengthen the immune system against infections.

Daily vitamin E supplements of up to 1000mg appear to lower the risk of stroke, heart disease and angina by reducing the formation of fatty plaques on the walls of arteries, as well as reducing arthritic pain.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Have you entered our Health of the Nation survey?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes
29% - 9758 votes
No
71% - 24115 votes
Vote