Definition

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is essential in the diet. Four forms of Vitamin E exist throughout the body, namely alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol, though alpha-tocopherol is most prevalent.

Health considerations

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals and oxidation in cell membranes, allowing for more stability in the cell. It also is important for fighting cardiovascular disease as it helps stop arterial clogging and lowers cholesterol. Vitamin E is associated with cancer prevention.

Keep in mind

Evidence from the benefits of vitamin E supplements, rather than intake through a healthy diet, is limited and does not point towards significant reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.  Mega-dosing with vitamin E supplements has been associated with poor health outcomes and increased cancer risk in recent studies and analyses. Vitamin E supplements may also interact with certain medications.

May be found in

Wheat germ oil, hazelnut oil, sunflower oil, almond oil, fortified cereal

References

Self Nutrition Data
Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal
Free Radical Biology & Medicine
National Institutes of Health Office of Dietary Supplements

Alternative Spellings and Names

Vitamin E, α-tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol, γ-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol

  1. Joy Schwabach Reply

    I’ve read numerous times that too much Vitamin E in supplement form is not necessary and can be dangerous, because it blocks statins and niacin. Here’s an article: http://www.drfuhrman.com/library/article9.aspx

    • TellSpecopedia Reply

      Thank you for the comment, Joy. You are correct in that there is limited evidence for benefits from vitamin E supplements, and can read further on this from the National Institutes of Health’s Office of Dietary Supplements summary here: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/. We’ve updated the site to reflect this information and appreciate the feedback.

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