An antioxidant vitamin, vitamin E functions to protect the cells from damage. As such, vitamin E is a particularly important nutrient. Vitamin E can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of conditions.
What is Vitamin E?
A naturally occurring nutrient, vitamin E is present in eight chemical forms. The different forms of vitamin E include alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol as well as alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol. The different forms possess different levels of biological activity, with alpha-tocopherol being the only form that is identified as meeting the needs of the human body.
With so many different forms, vitamin E must be supplemented from the appropriate sources. A wide variety of foods provide limited amounts of vitamin E; however, nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are identified as the best sources of the human form of the nutrient. Green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals are also significant sources of the nutrient. Specific foods that offer substantial amounts of the nutrient include wheat germ oil, sunflower seeds, almonds, sunflower oil, hazelnuts, and peanut butter.
Vitamin E’s antioxidant properties make it particularly effective, yet this is not the only function of the nutrient. Vitamin E is also involved in immune function, gene expression, and metabolic processes.
Health Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin E plays a number of roles in the body and offers a wide range of nutritional and health benefits. With its main purpose as an antioxidant, vitamin E is a nutrient that the body needs daily.
Additionally, the nutrient helps the body by extending the life of cells and, in turn, preventing cancer. The nutrient also helps treat and prevent arteriosclerosis, heart attack, chest pain, leg pain associated with hardened or blocked arteries, and high blood pressure. Vitamin E is also useful for treating diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease, night cramps, restless leg syndrome, and epilepsy. The nutrient can also help increase energy, reduce damage to the muscles after exercise, and improve muscle strength.
Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that plays a role in the functioning and maintenance of many of the organs. As such, it can be used to treat and prevent a wide range of conditions.