IIf Vitamin E Were a Song, It Would Be Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song.” (Just listen to me.) “Instead of a night with gifts εις you get eight crazy nights!” A bit tense, for sure, but all this means that this invisible hero is not a single composition. Instead, it is a family of eight related antioxidants called tocopherols and tocotrienols, all of which provide serious benefits to our body.
“Vitamin E is an essential nutrient — it means our bodies do not produce it, so we need to get it from the foods we eat,” says Kaleigh McMordie, MCN, RDN, LD. “Vitamin E acts as an important antioxidant in the body and plays a key role in the health of the brain, eyes, heart and immune system, as well as in the prevention of certain chronic diseases.” Let’s move on to the many benefits of vitamin E, as well as the top foods with vitamin E that you can get.
6 Top Benefits of Vitamin E, According to a Registered Dietitian
1. Vitamin E helps fight oxidative stress and inflammation
One of the major benefits of vitamin E is its antioxidant capacity. “Free radicals in the body cause damage over time, which is known as oxidative stress,” says McMordie. This form of stress can lead to chronic inflammation. “Oxidative stress has been linked to a number of chronic diseases and conditions, including cancer, arthritis and cognitive aging. Vitamin E helps protect the body from oxidative stress by preventing the formation of new free radicals. and neutralizing existing free radicals that would otherwise cause damage. ” McMordy goes on to say that this anti-inflammatory effect could potentially play a role in reducing the risk of certain cancers, although research is mixed on whether there is a benefit or even potential harm when it comes to taking vitamin E supplements and cancer. .
2. Vitamin E is beneficial for eye health
As with the rest of the body, free radicals can damage the eyes over time. McMurdy explains that the antioxidant activity of vitamin E may play a role in preventing macular degeneration and cataracts, two of the most common age-related eye diseases. “Vitamin E can help reduce oxidative stress in the retina and may even help repair the retina, cornea and urethra,” says McMordie. Highlights studies that have shown a reduced risk of cataracts with a higher dietary intake of vitamin E, as well as possible prevention of macular degeneration. (It is worth noting, however, that more research is needed in this area.)
3. Vitamin E can boost immune function, especially in older adults
“Immune cells are highly dependent on the structure and integrity of the cell membrane, which tends to shrink as people age,” says McMordy. “As an antioxidant, vitamin E can help prevent lipid peroxidation and subsequent damage to immune cell membranes, among other functions, to prevent age-related immune system damage.”
4. Vitamin E can help improve some inflammatory conditions
McMordie points to a recent meta-analysis that found that taking vitamin E supplements reduced ALT and AST, markers of liver inflammation, in patients with NAFLD. “It has also been found to improve other disease-related parameters such as LDL cholesterol, fasting blood glucose and serum leptin and tells us that vitamin E has been shown to be effective in reducing oxidative stress and pelvic pain markers in women with endometriosis. inflammatory disease of the pelvis.
5. Vitamin E is associated with the prevention of cognitive impairment
Cognitive diseases such as Alzheimer’s are thought to be related to oxidative stress that causes neuronal cell death. The inclusion of several antioxidants, such as vitamin E, in the diet is thought to help protect against it. “High plasma vitamin E levels have been associated with a lower risk of Alzheimer’s in older adults, however, research is mixed on whether supplementation with high doses of vitamin E offers benefits in preventing or slowing Alzheimer’s,” says McDee. .
6. Vitamin E can enhance heart health
Oxidation of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and the resulting inflammation play a role in coronary heart disease. “Together, multiple forms of vitamin E have been shown to have an inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation, reduced blood clotting and the production of nitric oxide, which relaxes blood vessels, suggesting that vitamin E could potentially reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.” McMordie. (FYI: Notes this with a warning that some trials have shown either no benefit from taking vitamin E supplements, or even negative results, such as a higher risk of stroke.)
Clearly, many of the benefits associated with vitamin E appear to be related to achieving optimal vitamin E levels by consuming foods rich in vitamin E – not high doses. McMordie says that getting enough vitamin E from food, in most cases, will ensure that you reap the benefits while reducing the risks of adverse effects.
But how much vitamin E do we really need from food?
“Vitamin E is definitely a Goldilocks nutrient, which means that too little and too much can cause problems,” says Ryan Andrews, MS, MA, RD, RYT, CSCS, lead nutritionist and Precision Nutrition consultant. , the largest online nutrition certification in the world. Company. “Too little can contribute to problems with the eyes, skin, muscles, nervous system and immune system, while too much can lead to prooxidating effects [cell damage]blood clotting problems, interactions with certain medications and may increase the risk of bleeding.
Andrews points out that 15 mg / day (22.4 IU) is an amount that will meet the needs of most adults. A little more or a little less is probably good, as the body is quite adaptable to vitamin E. “Unfortunately, the data show that most adults in the US take about seven mg / day. “Smokers may also be at greater risk of failure.”
Conclusion? Diving into certain foods rich in vitamin E is always a good idea. Andrews notes that the digestive system requires fat to absorb vitamin E (either from food or supplements) because it is a fat-soluble vitamin — so to reap the many benefits of vitamin E described above, be sure to include a source. fat with these foods. (Fortunately, many of the richest sources of vitamin E are naturally high in fat.)
The foods you need to get, according to McMordie and Andrews, are:
- Wheat germ oil: 1 tablespoon has 20.3 mg
- Sunflower seeds: 1 ounce has 7.4 mg
- Almonds: 1 ounce has 6.8 mg
- Hazelnuts: 1 ounce has 4 mg
- Dried apricots: 1/2 cup has 3 mg
- Peanut butter: 2 tablespoons have 2.9 mg
- Butternut Squash: 1 cup has 2.6 mg
- Avocado: 1/2 avocado has 2.1 mg
- Peanuts: 1 ounce has 2 mg
- Rainbow trout: 3 ounces has 2 mg
- Spinach: 1/2 cup has 2 mg
- Swiss Chard: 1/2 cup has 2 mg
- Shrimp: 3 ounces have 1.9 mg
- Eggs: 2 large eggs have 1.9 mg
- Cooked spinach: 1/2 cup has 1.9 mg
- Olive oil: 1 tablespoon has 1.9 mg
- Cooked broccoli: 1/2 cup has 1.2 mg
- Kiwi: 1 fruit has 1.1 mg
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