Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Few Facts to Know about Vitamin E

Vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin and an antioxidant, is available in eight different varieties. Each of the varieties has unique biological property that is measured as the strength of utilization within the body. a-tocopherol is one of the varieties of vitamin E found in human body. It works like an active antioxidant. In this article, we will explore few facts about vitamin E including its potential benefits, side effects, availability, etc.

Vitamin E as Antioxidant

Since vitamin E plays the role of antioxidant, it offers the protection against free radical production in the body. This is one of the most important facts to know about vitamin E. Free radicals are unstable molecules formed as a by-product of energy metabolism. Free radicals lack one electron and in order to stabilize these molecules 'steal' electron from other healthy molecule, eventually making the healthy and stable ones to the unstable and unhealthy.

Antioxidants like vitamin E play a significant role in blocking this chain reaction of free radicals by donating electron in order to stabilize the molecules. One of the most interesting facts about vitamin E is that more researchers now become interested in determining whether vitamin E is able to contribute in the delaying or preventing the development of chronic diseases like cardiovascular disease and cancer. Providing protection to vitamin A as well as essential fatty acids from oxidation are another significant facts to know about vitamin E benefits.

Side Effects of Vitamin E

The majority of the studies concerning the safety measure of vitamin E usage are limited to the duration of couple of months or lesser than that, so only insignificant facts are know about vitamin E usage on long term basis. Based on animal studies, many researchers argue since vitamin E functions as an anticoagulant, hence excessive dosage of vitamin E may contribute to the bleeding problem. The Food and Nutrition Board under the Institute of Medicine has determined 1000mg or (1500IU) as the maximum upper limit for vitamin E intake.

Vitamin E Availability

Although many individuals show their strong unwillingness about taking fat intake in their daily diet, it is important to consider some healthy sources of fats in regular diet in order to meet the requirement of vitamin E. Eggs, almond oil, olive oil, corn oil, palm oil, peanut oil, soybean oil, sunflower oil, tomato juice, apples with skin, raw mangoes, dried almonds, dried hazelnuts, English walnuts, raw avocado, raw spinach, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, raw turnip greens are good sources of vitamin E.

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