Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol)
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Health Benefits of Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol)

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Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. It is a combination of chemical compounds which include alpha-tocopherol. All tissues in the human body contain Vitamin E, but the largest quantities of this important nutrient are found in the pituitary gland and in the suprarenal gland. The human body cannot produce this important vitamin, so it must rely on the diet, or other form of supplementation, to attain proper levels of Vitamin E.

Vitamin E is another of these all-important vitamins that benefit the body in many different ways.

First and foremost, it has antioxidant properties which neutralize free radicals and protect the body against the damaging effects they can cause. Along with Vitamin C and Vitamin A, these antioxidants help slow the aging process and research shows they seem to help prevent prostate and other types of cancer.

Another important health benefit of Vitamin E is that it helps keep LDL levels low. LDL is the bad form of cholesterol that over time can build up within the walls of the arteries and lead to heart disease and blood clotting.

Vitamin E also encourages the proper development of muscles. It can help boost the effectiveness of the immune system, primarily by making it more resistant to bacterial and viral infections. Working together with Vitamin C and beta carotene, Vitamin E can help prevent the development of cataracts.

Sources of Vitamin E

Fortunately, getting enough vitamin E is not normally a problem as it is abundant in many different types of food.

MangoSweet potatoes and mangoes are rich in Vitamin E. Several oils including sesame, sunflower, peanut, safflower, olive, soybean and corn are also good sources of Vitamin E. Nuts, too, contain sufficient levels of Vitamin E making walnuts, Brazil nuts, hazelnuts, sunflower seeds and almonds excellent snack foods. Butter, margarine, eggs, wheat germ, wheat germ oil, soya, yams, spinach, broccoli, corn, avocados, fortified cereals and liver are other good sources. Green vegetables, however, contain only small amounts of Vitamin E.

Unfortnaely, food storage and preparation can significantly deplete the Vitamin E content of these foods. Freezing, processing, preserving and exposing these foods to air are terrible Vitamin E degraders.

The recommended daily intake of Vitamin E is 12 milligrams. However, people who smoke cigarettes are advised to increase Vitamin E levels to counteract the increased stress on the lungs that is caused by cigarette smoke. Interestingly, air pollution can cause the same type of lung stress so those living in areas frequently subjected to air pollution should also increase their daily intake.

Symptoms of a Vitamin E Deficiency

Since Vitamin E is contained in so many different foods and because the body is capable of storing this fat soluble vitamin,  While, Vitamin E deficiencies are very rare, they do sometimes occur, and the symptoms can be severe. Gradual degradation of the kidneys is one notable risk associated with this type of deficiency. Reproductive problems including infertility as well as an increase in the risk of a miscarriage are also potential problems.

Lethargy, anemia and an overall loss of balance are other symptoms adults with a Vitamin E deficiency may experience. And if not addressed, over time, the body will simply begin to waste away.

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Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol) - Copyright 2015 by Donovan Baldwin
Page Updated 1:47 PM Sunday 10/25/2015