So many of you have heard of vitamin E and its potential benefits. This nutrient is an important ingredient in many cosmetic products such as creams, lotions, anti-aging moisturizers, sun screens, and skin brighteners. Its popularity and use is not only limited to the beauty arena, but also to the area of health maintenance and prevention.
The fundamental of beauty lies in the appearance of your skin and vitamin E can do the magic for you. Concerning its positive effect on our health, following are some of its amazing health benefits.
- Anti-oxidant and anti-inflammatory properties
- Anti-tumorigenic and photoprotective properties
- Stimulates and enhance body’s defence system and immune responses
- Reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) in older patients.
- Helps to prevent blood clotting by Inhibiting platelet aggregation
- Enhances hormonal and cell immune responses
- Reduces oxidative stress and lipid peroxidation
- Neutralizes the adverse effect of free radicals
It is a naturally occurring fat soluble antioxidant and vitamin E is the combined name of a group of eight fat-soluble vitamins known as tocopherols and tocotrienols. This nutrient is found naturally in some foods and also available as a dietary supplement. It is contained in many foods, but rich dietary sources of vitamin E include cold-pressed plant oils, nuts, sunflower seeds, eggs, dark leafy greens, avocados and wheat germ. It is added to a few commercial foods and comes in to the market labelled as fortified with vitamin E.
Scientific Facts of the Health Promoting Effects of Vitamin E
Vitamin E has been shown to be effective against numerous conditions and diseases that are linked to oxidation. It prevents oxidative stress, protects cell membranes and regulates platelet aggregation. It has also been found to be very effective in the prevention and reversal of various disease complications.
Studies related to the role of vitamin E in human health and some diseases shows that :
- High plasma levels of vitamin E are associated with a reduced risk of AD (Alzheimer’s disease} in older people.
- Its supplementation significantly enhances both cell-mediated and humoral immune functions in humans, especially in the elderly.
- Vitamin E improved the antibody response to various vaccines in healthy subjects
- Vitamin E can enhance the immune response to a specific antigen.
- Viitamin E stimulates the body’s defences and increases phagocytic functions. It also has a pronounced effect in infectious diseases where immune phagocytosis is involved.
- The resulting symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include muscle weakness, vision problems, immune system changes, numbness, difficulty in walking and tremors as well as a poor sense of balance.
- Vitamin E deficiency can cause anaemia, retinopathyand the impairment of the immune response. If untreated, vitamin E deficiency may result in blindness, heart disease, permanent nerve damage and impaired thinking.
Use of Vitamin E in Skin Care
According to a research published in the British Journal of Nutrition, vitamin E contains bioactive compounds that have beneficial effect on skin health and when orally consumed, these compounds are metabolized and presented to the entire skin tissue in an active form.
In dermatology, this antioxidant vitamin has been in use for more than fifty years. It acts as a free radical scavenger and protects the skin from various deterious effects due to solar radiation.. Experimental studies suggest that vitamin E has antitumorigenic and photoprotective properties. As it is absorbed by the epidermis layer of the skin, it is beneficial for sun protection and treating sun burn.
Use of Vitamin E in Hair Care
Hair loss or alopecia is a common problem faced by many people. Studies show an association between oxidative stress, lipid peroxidation index and hair loss. Clinical trials demonstrate that supplementation with tocotrienol (a compound belong to the vitamin E family) capsules increases hair number in people suffering from alopecia.
How To Use Vitamin E
There are different ways to use vitamin E, depending on the problem. It is used as a dietary supplement and can be applied to the skin, hair or nails topically in the form of oil or gel. Vitamin E oil is topically applied to address conditions like wrinkles, fine lines,rough skin, crowns feet, dark circles around the eyes, brown spots, acne scars and dry lips and scalp problems. It is also applied to prevent these conditions.
Possible Side Effects and Precautions
As vitamin E deficiency causes certain adverse health conditions, its overdosing may also lead to vitamin E toxicity (Hypervitaminosis E ). So, orally taking vitamin E in high doses is possibly unsafe. It may cause nausea, diarrhoea, stomach cramps, fatigue, weakness, headache, blurred vision, rash, bruising and bleeding.
Since vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant, it can magnify the effects of certain drugs such as anticoagulant medications and aspirin which can cause severe problems in ill patients.[ Hypervitaminosis E may also counteract vitamin K, leading to a vitamin K defficiency..
For these reasons, it is very important to stick on to the correct dosage guidelines to keep the intake of vitamin E supplement within the daily recommended allowance. The best practice is to consult your physician if you consider starting oral supplementation of vitamin E. In this way you can take the correct dosage as per your needs and individual health conditions.