Vitamin E (tocopherol) is a fat-soluble vitamin whose primary job is to defend against free radicals, renegade cells that damage living tissues. It serves the powerful purpose of helping your body regenerate and rejuvenate itself, so life can go on.
Read on for other great benefits of this vitamin and why you need it on a daily basis.
Vitamin E contributes to your good health in a number of ways.
Vitamin E has been shown to protect your lungs. Dr. Lindsey Dow conducted a study of 178 people, aged 70 years of age or older, which is now published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, on the effects vitamin E has on the lungs.
The results showed that the more of this antioxidant vitamin elderly people consumed, the better their lung function. A word of caution, however, is that researchers don’t yet know how much vitamin E is needed to improve lung function or if it is more beneficial when consumed in supplement form or in foods.
Vitamin E boosts aspirin’s strength against stroke. Aspirin’s proven anti-stroke power is multiplied when it is taken with vitamin E. A study of 100 people who had suffered mini-strokes, often a precursor of major strokes, found that taking vitamin E daily together with aspirin produced a reduction of up to 80%, compared with aspirin alone, in the number of anchor strands that enable dangerous clots to form in blood vessels.
Vitamin E can reduce muscle soreness and damage from vigorous exercise. Studies found the benefit when people took large doses of vitamin E during the 24 hours before and after they engaged in vigorous exercise. Doctors believe this effect comes from the ability of vitamin E to combat DNA-damaging free radicals released by exercise. Other researchers are studying the relationship between exercise and other vitamins, including riboflavin (vitamin B2) and vitamin C. The recommended dosage of vitamin E for adults is 400 international units (IU) per day.
Vitamin E gives you a healthy head of hair. Vitamin E stimulates blood flow throughout the body and improves circulation. As the blood flow to your scalp improves, your hair is better able to grow. Vitamin E also acts like a buffer on your scalp against outside damage from the elements and free radicals, which wreak havoc on your cells.
Vitamin E fights cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Higher doses are thought to be beneficial in preventing and/or treating prostate and other cancers, as well as Alzheimer’s disease.
Good sources of vitamin E include nuts, fortified cereals, fish, fresh vegetables, fresh fruits and vegetable oil.
Misconceptions About Vitamin E
Vitamin E does not having “quick healing” powers. Though vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, it does not help cuts and bruises heal faster, despite the common belief that it does – according to a three-month study conducted by Dr. James M. Spencer. In his study, 15 volunteers applied vitamin E ointment to one-half of a wound two times a day. After three months, there was no difference in the rate of healing between the treated and untreated halves. Six of the volunteers dropped out, complaining of redness, swelling and skin irritation on the vitamin E side.