Vitamin E

Image for nut articleVitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. Fat-soluble vitamins are stored in the liver and fatty tissues. There are 8 different forms of vitamin E—each has its own biologic activity. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E in humans. It is an antioxidant—a substance that acts to protect the body's cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are normal by-products of metabolism, but they can cause cell damage.

Functions

Vitamin E's functions include:
  • Acting as an antioxidant in the body
  • Helping with immune system function

Recommended Intake:

Age Group Recommended Dietary Allowance
Females Males
1-3 6 milligrams (mg) 6 mg
4-8 7 mg 7 mg
9-13 11 mg 11 mg
14-18 15 mg 15 mg
19+pregnancy 15 mg n/a
19+ 15 mg 15 mg
19+ lactation 19 mg n/a

Vitamin E Deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency is rare. In developed countries, vitamin E deficiency is seen only in certain conditions, such as liver disease or cystic fibrosis. Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include:
  • Neurological symptoms, such as impaired balance and coordination
  • Muscle weakness
  • Retinal degeneration (thinning of the lining of the inner eye)
People with vitamin E deficiency may also be deficient in vitamins A, D, and K.

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