Vitamin E properties

Health benefits of vitamin E


What is vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a set of different soluble components divided into two groups.

The group that most stands out is that of the tocopherols that has 4 members: alpha tocopherol, beta tocopherol, gamma tocopherol and delta tocopherol, the first being the best known and which seems to be more active.

Vitamin E is considered the heart vitamin, since it is necessary to have vitamin E needs covered for a healthy heart. Good levels of this vitamin would help prevent the onset of heart disease, arteriosclerosis or certain types of cancer.

The reason lies in its ability to protect the membranes of cells which prevents free radicals from oxidising, which would lead to a degradation of the human body, especially in the aspects of heart disease or possible cancers.

It’s a vitamin, which along with vitamin A and vitamin C, form the group of antioxidant vitamins.

Main curative properties of vitamin E

Wheat germ oilWheat germ oil of cold pressure is the food richest in vitamin E. 1 teaspoon provides all the necessary vitamin E per day

Vitamin for fertility and pregnancy

Another of the properties of this vitamin is its role in pregnancy. In fact, the name of vitamin E, tocopherol, derives from the Greek toco (= birth) and phereon (= carry out). Because this vitamin is necessary for the pregnancy to develop successfully.

In the body, vitamin E circulates together with the good HDL cholesterol.

Properties of vitamin E

Main properties of vitamin E Properties of vitamin E


Recommended daily amount of vitamin E

embarazo dibujo

The needs increase in pregnancy. Drawing courtesy of: ©Dibujosparapintar

The necessary daily doses of this vitamin (RDA) for adults are 11-15 mg of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) (or its equivalent to 22.5 IU) daily.

First-pressing cold-pressed wheat germ oil is recommended as a natural vitamin E supplement.

Dangers of vitamin E and cancer

Some experts recommended high doses of this vitamin to have a greater therapeutic effect, but it has been observed that these doses are not recommended.

High doses of vitamin E supplements are contraindicated in all cases. Studies show that taking more than 400 IU increases the risk of mortality and cancer (the equivalent of 268mg of vitamin E or higher).

When do you specially need vitamin E?

The situations in which one should possibly take supplements of vitamin E because there may be a deficiency of it would be the following:

  • Liver problems that prevent proper absorption of this vitamin. (Cirrhosis, hepatitis, fat liver, etc)

  • Slimming regimes or low-fat vegan diet in which there is low consuption of vegetable fats. (This vitamin is fat soluble and the body needs fat to absorb it)

  • Intestinal diseases that prevent absorption of the vitamin. (Leaky bowel, Crohn, colitis, etc)

  • Some medications such as antacids and those used to lower cholesterol.


What functions does vitamin E have?

vegetable oilsFoods rich in vegetable oils are the richest foods richest in vitamin E

Vitamin E intervenes in different functions in the body:

  • Antioxidant: For the protection of cells against free radicals. Unlike vitamin C, vitamin E is an antioxidant in lipid or fatty environments, that is, it prevents the oxidation of fats in the body, such as cholesterol or the structures that make up cell membranes.

  • This vitamin prevents the accumulation of cholesterol deposits in the arteries and manages to prolong the effect of healthy omega 3 fats in the body.

  • Vitamin of the heart: By the mentioned previously, the vitamin E is very healthy for the heart and the arteries when avoiding the bad circulation produced by the elevated cholesterol, and when prolonging the life of the omega 3, with antiinflammatory properties.

  • Increase fertility: This vitamin is necessary for pregnancy to occur. Rats with vitamin E deficiency did not complete their pregnancy.

  • Increases the defenses: The administration of this vitamin increases the defenses is necessary for a correct function of the lymphocytes.

Benefits of vitamin E

For all the above mentioned, vitamin E can be beneficial for:

  • To keep the arteries, veins and heart in good condition. For the preservation of red blood cells.

  • To keep vitamin A in good condition

  • To prevent the production of inflammatory substances

  • To keep the reproductive system in good condition.

  • To preserve the skin in good condition, repair and healing of wounds

  • For the health of the vision

  • For the proper functioning of the brain and nervous system, to enjoy good mood and positive feeling.

  • To keep the digestive system in good condition

Other properties of vitamin E:

  • Properties for the eyes: Taking 400 IU daily of this vitamin prevents the development of cataracts and improve vision.

  • Diabetes: The same dose taken by diabetics can help to stabilize better your blood sugar levels in the blood.

  • Alcoholism: Vitamin E is taken, along with vitamin C, in treatment for alcoholism.

  • Diverticulitis or diverticulosis: It exerts a protective function of the intestine wall. The usual dose is around 100 IU per day during the first week to be increased in a dose of 100 IU more per week up to a maximum of 800 IU weekly.

  • Discomfort and swelling in the breasts: Ingestion of 200 IU daily of vitamin E appears to improve symptoms of chest pain and bloating that women have during menstruation. Also high doses of this vitamin can help reduce the negative symptoms of menopause.

  • Healing properties: Vitamin E, mixed with oil and applied externally on wounds, helps heal better. Vitamin supplements help to improve symptoms of psoriasis. Internally can be supplied with the same objective to treat diseases such as diverticulitis.

Daily requirement of vitamin E

The necessary dosis of this vitamin (RDA) is 15 mg (equivalent to 22.5 IU) daily. Nevertheless, these doses are very low for a therapeutic effect according to some experts, who recommend higher doses (between 400 and 800 IU daily). To reach these doses it nis necessary to use vitamin supplements.

The advantage of this vitamin is that it seems to have no toxicity, even at very high doses. It has proven that a dose of 400 to 800 IU per day can improve heart health. A study in Cambridge revealed as 77% of patients with heart problems improved significantly after being treated for almost 600 days with the natural amount of vitamin E mentioned above.


Animal sources of vitamin E

The amounts of vitamin E in the sources of animal origin are so low that they do not have any use to achieve the needs of this vitamin.

Only fatty fish (oily fish such as salmon, tuna, sardines, etc.) and seafood (squid, prawns, prawns) deserve mention. Eggs also provide a certain amount of vitamin E.

Viscera, red meat, white meat, white fish, and especially dairy products, are very poor in vitamin E.

Vegetable sources of vitamin E


Almonds are very rich in vitamin E (without frying, without salt).

It should be qualified that only high-pressure cold oils contain a lot of vitamin E. Refined oils have very little vitamin E (and for this reason they easily become rancid).

teaspoon of virgin olive oil

One teaspoon of virgin olive oil contains 2 mg of tocopherols. The CDR is about 10-15mg

Wheat germ oil is the food richest in vitamin E (only the first cold pressure) (149 mg per 100 g).

They also contribute a good amount of this vitamin to the unrefined sunflower oil (40 mg per 100g).

The seeds and nuts richest in vitamin E are: sunflower seeds (without frying) (35 mg per 100g) and almonds (not fried) (25 mg per 100g).

Avocado (6 mg per piece of 200g) and the mangoes, peaches and apricots (1 mg per 100g) also contain this vitamin.

Other plant sources have lesser amounts, such as apples (1.6 mg / mz) or asparagus (0.4 mg per two stems). Many other vegetables have vitamin E but in quantities too small to be worth naming.

How it is better to store oils and nuts to preserve their vitamin E

Vitamin E is sensitive to light and heat, so oils and nuts should be kept in an opaque container and in a cold place. In this way, food retains all its vitamin.

Frying the oils or leaving them uncovered causes your vitamin E to decrease dramatically.

Supplements of vitamin E

  • Wheat germ of first cold pressure: 1 teaspoon every morning with a glass of water with squeezed lemon.

  • Alphatocopherol succinate: In the form of tablets or capsules in which vitamin E is mixed with succinate to prevent it from becoming rancid in contact with air.

  • Alphatocopherol acetate: In the form of pearls in which vitamin E is mixed with acetate to prevent it from becoming rancid in contact with air.

  • Mixed tocopherols: In which all the forms obtained through distillation of vegetable fatty fruits are combined. They are more suitable for the organism than the previous forms.

  • Natural Vitamin E (alphatocopherol): supplements obtained mainly from soybean or safflower oil. They are used when there are problems of heartburn.E.


It is not recommended to consume any of the aforementioned supplements daily without the advice of a professional.

Taking vitamin E supplements can be counterproductive in certain situations or in amounts greater than 400 IU daily. (equivalent to 286 mg of vitamin E)

How to take and preserve vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is best absorbed if we consume fat.

  • It is more appropriate to take vitamin E supplements during meals.

  • The combination of vitamin E and selenium makes you get better result and for longer terms.

  • Bottles of vitamin E supplements should be kept in a cool place and protected from light. If the temperature is so low that comes close to congelation, it gets damaged. Do not keep this vitamin in the freezer or refrigerator.

Symptoms of deficiency or lack of vitamin E

A lack of this vitamin manifests itself mainly:

  • Circulatory and cardiac problems: As a bad circulation in general or a bad heart functioning, anemia, hemorrhages, arteriosclerosis, bad circulation

  • Skin problems: A skin lacking vigor and freshness or when the wounds cost a lot to heal, may indicate a deficiency of vitamin E.

  • Nervous system problems: irritability, depression, pessimism, loss of reflexes, speech difficulty.

  • Problems of memory and learning: such as problems of concentration, memory, learning problems, mental fatigue, etc.

  • Muscle problems: weakness, low sports performance, microinjuries

  • Problems of sterility: infertility, abortion, problems in the testicles, etc. The lack of fertility may be due to a deficiency of vitamin E.


Vitamin E for the heart and circulatory system

healthy diet

Vitamin E is recommended for blood circulation and people with heart attacks. A varied diet with virgin oil and nuts contains vitamin E.

It has been provent that the consumption of this vitamin helps improve the health of our circulatory system. The ability of this vitamin to prevent arteriosclerosis is due to its capacity of preventing cholesterol oxidation and its deposition in the walls of the arteries.

The ability of this vitamin to prevent arteriosclerosis occurs by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol and its deposition in the walls of the arteries. In this way it avoids the formation of atheromatous plaque that would hinder circulation by narrowing the blood vessels.

We can say to some extent that this vitamin “cleans the arteries” and makes the chances of suffering a myocardial infarction, angina pectoris, or stroke are much lower. Studies of people taking 400 IU daily of vitamin showed they had less than 70% chance of suffering a heart attack than those not taking it.

Bad circulation in the legs

This vitamin is suitable for those with poor circulation in the legs, on all those who suffer from cramps in the calves or leg muscles when walking or painful cramps in the calves at night.

To feel better recommended starting dose of 200 IU per day and be increased until the 400 or 500 IU.

Other properties of vitamin E

a boy with a wound

Burns and other wounds can be treated with vitamin E, which helps in healing

  • Diabetes: 400mg daily dose can help stabilize blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

  • Alcoholism: Vitamin E is taken, along with vitamin C and the B vitamins, in the treatment against alcoholism.

  • Healing properties: Vitamin E, mixed with oil and applied externally on wounds, helps to heal better. Supplements of this vitamin help to improve the symptoms of psoriasis. Internally it can be supplied with the same purpose to treat diseases such as diverticulitis, leaky intestine, digestive ulcers, gastritis, etc.

  • Carpal tunnel syndrome: Protects cell membranes from the adverse effects of inflammation and has an antiinflammatory effect. (Take 1,500 IU of vitamin E per day, after one week, reduce to 1,000 IU daily.)

  • Properties for vision: Take 400 IU daily of this vitamin prevents the appearance of cataracts and improves vision.

  • Peyronie’s disease: In one study, medical pharmacological treatment, accompanied by vitamin E (600 mg daily) and antioxidants, reduced the curvature in 6 months, and 67% also reduced pain.

  • Discomfort and swelling in the breasts: Ingestion of 200 IU daily of vitamin E seems to improve the symptoms of swollen and painful chest that women have during the period of menstruation. Equally high doses of this vitamin can help reduce the negative symptoms of menopause.


Can an overdose of vitamin E be produced by diet?

It is very difficult to make an excess of vitamin E through the “normal” foods of the diet, such as sunflower oil, olive oil, nuts, seeds, fruits or avocados.

In addition, it has been proven that unsaturated fatty acids decrease between 20 and 50% the absorption of this vitamin, especially in the alpha-tocopherol form (the reason is not known). Because vitamin E is always linked to these types of fats, it is unlikely that toxic doses will be ingested through food.

Excess would be more likely if too much wheat germ oil is taken regularly, since it is considered a supplement.

Problems with excess vitamin E (with supplements)

Vitamin E is the fat-soluble vitamins that has less toxicity, but even so, it is harmful to consume supplements in excess because high amounts of vitamin E hinder the absorption of the other fat-soluble vitamins ( vitamins A, D and K)

Vitamin E has very little toxicity. However, there are a number of circumstances that require us to take precautions:

  • High doses of vitamin E supplements are contraindicated in all cases. Studies show that taking more than 400 IU increases the risk of mortality and cancer.

  • Patients with bleeding problems cannot take supplements of this vitamin, such as hemophiliacs or those with bleeding peptic ulcers.

  • We must be prudent in the administration of this vitamin in patients taking anticoagulant drugs like heparin and warfarin because it can thin your blood too much, what would make them bleed too easily.

  • Also patients who will undergo an operation should abandon the ingestion of these supplements one month before surgery.

  • Pregnant or nursing women should not exceed the RDA.

In general, one should consult with the doctor if sick or willling to take a high dose of this vitamin.

punto rojoMore information on vitamin E.

Written by Editorial Botanical-online team in charge of content writing

19 March, 2019

Other interesting articles

This material is for informational purposes only. In case of doubt, consult the doctor.
"Botanical-online" is not responsible for damages caused by self-medication.