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Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is a fat soluble vitamin and potent antioxidant that is believed to be important in protecting cells from oxidative stress, regulating immune function, maintaining endothelial cell integrity and balancing normal coagulation. There is no evidence that vitamin E, in physiologic or even super-physiologic, high doses, causes liver injury or jaundice.

EINECS 200-412-2

VITAMIN E; alpha-Tocopherol; D-alpha-Tocopherol; 59-02-9; 5,7,8-Trimethyltocol; (+)-alpha-Tocopherol; alpha-Vitamin E; Aquasol E; (R,R,R)-alpha-Tocopherol; Phytogermine; Eprolin; a-Tocopherol; (2R,4'R,8'R)-alpha-Tocopherol; dl-a-Tocopherol; TOCOPHEROL; Denamone; Viteolin; Esorb; Tocopherol alpha; 10191-41-0; DSSTox_CID_6339; DSSTox_RID_78103; DSSTox_GSID_26339; alpha-Tocopherol, D-; Viprimol; alpha-Tokoferol; Vitamin E alpha; Viterra E; E Prolin; (2R)-2-((4R,8R)-4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-2,5,7,8-tetramethylchroman-6-ol; CAS-59-02-9; 2H-1-Benzopyran-6-ol, 3,4-dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-, (2R-(2R*(4R*,8R*)))-; 2H-1-Benzopyran-6-ol, 3,4-dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-, [2R-[2R*(4R*,8R*)]]-; SMR000471844; VIV; (+/-)-alpha-Tocopherol, 95%, synthetic; alpha-Tocopherol acid; Tenox GT 1; Rhenogran Ronotec 50; Covitol F 1000; 3,4-Dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-2H-benzopyran-6-ol; DL-all-rac-alpha-Tocopherol; E 307 (tocopherol); (all-R)-alpha-Tocopherol; Phytogermin; Palmvtee; alpha-Tocoferol; (+-)-Med-E; E-Oil 1000; Vitamin Ealpha; CCRIS 3588; MFCD00072051; a-D-Tocopherol; HSDB 2556; Pheryl-E; Vita plus E; d-..-Tocopherol; NCGC00016688-02; Vitamin E, liquid; (+)--tocopherol; 2H-1-Benzopyran-6-ol, 3,4-dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-((4R,8R)-4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-, (2R)-; Prestwick_653; EINECS 200-412-2; EINECS 215-798-8; EINECS 218-197-9; .alpha.-Vitamin E; (+)-a-Tocopherol; NSC 20812; NSC 82623; RRR-alpha-tocopherol; RRR-alpha-tocopheryl; Vitamin E (liquid); Vitamin E [USP]; ()-alpha-Tocopherol; delta-alpha-tocopherol; alpha-delta-Tocopherol; Vitamin E (D-form); CHEMBL47; (R,R,R)-a-Tocopherol; Prestwick3_000404; E 307; (+)-.alpha.-Tocopherol; all-rac-alpha-Tocopherolum; bmse000600; EC 200-412-2; SCHEMBL3097; UNII-H4N855PNZ1; BIDD:PXR0174; D-alpha-Tocopherol, 97+%; BSPBio_000328; MLS001066396; MLS001335981; MLS001335982; BIDD:ER0562; T1539_SIGMA; H4N855PNZ1; DTXSID0026339; (2R,4'R,8'R)-a-Tocopherol; Vitamin E (DL-alpha-Tocopherol); HMS2096A10; HMS2231G08; C29H50O2 (D-alpha-tocopherol); HY-N0683; ZINC4095858; Tox21_110563; Tox21_113208; Tox21_202081; BDBM50458513; LMPR02020001; MFCD00006848; AKOS004910417; CS-8161; DB00163; MCULE-3684036705; (2R)-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-[(4R,8R)-4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl]-3,4-dihydrochromen-6-ol; NCGC00142625-01; NCGC00142625-04; NCGC00142625-05; NCGC00142625-06; NCGC00142625-07; NCGC00142625-10; NCGC00259630-01; (2R*(4R*,8R*))-(1)-3,4-Dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-2H-benzopyran-6-ol; 18920-62-2; AS-13990; M349; P500; SC-18444; SC-19194; ST073358; (+/-)-alpha-Tocopherol (Vitamin E) solution; C02477; d-alpha, d-beta, d-gamma & d-delta tocopherols; Q158348; Q-201932; W-107596; W-109164; 07AA93F0-3339-4EEC-B50B-ADB70F657087; UNII-7QWA1RIO01 component GVJHHUAWPYXKBD-IEOSBIPESA-N; UNII-N53I4V2IA6 component GVJHHUAWPYXKBD-IEOSBIPESA-N; UNII-R0ZB2556P8 component GVJHHUAWPYXKBD-IEOSBIPESA-N; (+)-alpha-Tocopherol, from vegetable oil, Type V, ~1000 IU/g; (2R,4'R,8'R)-2,5,7,8-Tetramethyl-2-(4',8',12'-trimethyltridecyl)-6-chromanol; 3,4-Dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-2H-1- -benzopyran-6-ol; (+)-alpha-Tocopherol, Type VI, from vegetable oil, neat (liquid, >=0.88M based on potency, density and molecular wt.), BioReagent, suitable for insect cell culture, >=1000 IU/g; (2R)-3,4-Dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-[(4R,8R)-4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl]-2H-1-benzopyran-6-ol; (R)-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-((4R,8R)-4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-3,4-dihydro-2H-chromen-6-ol; 2H-1-Benzopyran-6-ol, 3,4-dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-, 2R- 2R*(4R*,8R*) -; 2H-1-Benzopyran-6-ol, 3,4-dihydro-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)-, (2R*(4R*,8R*))-(+-)- (9CI)

Alpha-Tocopherol is the orally bioavailable alpha form of the naturally-occurring fat-soluble vitamin E, with potent antioxidant and cytoprotective activities. Upon administration, alpha-tocopherol neutralizes free radicals, thereby protecting tissues and organs from oxidative damage. Alpha-tocopherol gets incorporated into biological membranes, prevents protein oxidation and inhibits lipid peroxidation, thereby maintaining cell membrane integrity and protecting the cell against damage. In addition, alpha-tocopherol inhibits the activity of protein kinase C (PKC) and PKC-mediated pathways. Alpha-tocopherol also modulates the expression of various genes, plays a key role in neurological function, inhibits platelet aggregation and enhances vasodilation. Compared with other forms of tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically active form and is the form that is preferentially absorbed and retained in the body.

d-Alpha-Tocopherol is a naturally-occurring form of vitamin E, a fat-soluble vitamin with potent antioxidant properties. Considered essential for the stabilization of biological membranes (especially those with high amounts of polyunsaturated fatty acids), d-alpha-Tocopherol is a potent peroxyl radical scavenger and inhibits noncompetitively cyclooxygenase activity in many tissues, resulting in a decrease in prostaglandin production. Vitamin E also inhibits angiogenesis and tumor dormancy through suppressing vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) gene transcription. (NCI04)

Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) is a fat soluble vitamin and potent antioxidant that is believed to be important in protecting cells from oxidative stress, regulating immune function, maintaining endothelial cell integrity and balancing normal coagulation. There is no evidence that vitamin E, in physiologic or even super-physiologic, high doses, causes liver injury or jaundice.

Vitamin E is a collective term used to describe 8 separate fat soluble antioxidants, most commonly alpha-tocopherol[A176104]. Vitamin E acts to protect cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of the body's metabolism. Vitamin E deficiency is seen in persons with abetalipoproteinemia, premature, very low birth weight infants (birth weights less than 1500 grams, or 3½ pounds), cystic fibrosis, and cholestasis and severe liver disease[A176104]. Preliminary research suggests vitamin E may help prevent or delay coronary heart disease and protect against the damaging effects of free radicals, which may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer[A237]. It also protects other fat-soluble vitamins (A and B group vitamins) from destruction by oxygen[A239]. Low levels of vitamin E have been linked to increased incidence of breast and colon cancer[L5725].

Alpha-Tocopherol is the orally bioavailable alpha form of the naturally-occurring fat-soluble vitamin E, with potent antioxidant and cytoprotective activities. Upon administration, alpha-tocopherol neutralizes free radicals, thereby protecting tissues and organs from oxidative damage. Alpha-tocopherol gets incorporated into biological membranes, prevents protein oxidation and inhibits lipid peroxidation, thereby maintaining cell membrane integrity and protecting the cell against damage. In addition, alpha-tocopherol inhibits the activity of protein kinase C (PKC) and PKC-mediated pathways. Alpha-tocopherol also modulates the expression of various genes, plays a key role in neurological function, inhibits platelet aggregation and enhances vasodilation. Compared with other forms of tocopherol, alpha-tocopherol is the most biologically active form and is the form that is preferentially absorbed and retained in the body.

Vitamin E is likely the most important antioxidant in the human diet and alpha-tocopherol is the most active isomer. Alpha-tocopherol exhibits anti-oxidative capacity in vitro, and inhibits oxidation of ldl. Beside this, alpha-tocopherol shows anti-inflammatory activity and modulates expression of proteins involved in uptake, transport and degradation of tocopherols, as well as the uptake, storage and export of lipids such as cholesterol. Despite promising anti-atherogenic features in vitro, vitamin E failed to be atheroprotective in clinical trials in humans. Recent studies highlight the importance of long-chain metabolites of alpha-tocopherol, which are formed as catabolic intermediate products in the liver and occur in human plasma. These metabolites modulate inflammatory processes and macrophage foam cell formation via mechanisms different than that of their metabolic precursor alpha-tocopherol and at lower concentrations. Here we summarize the controversial role of vitamin E as a preventive agent against atherosclerosis and point the attention to recent findings that highlight a role of these long-chain metabolites of vitamin E as a proposed new class of regulatory metabolites. We speculate that the metabolites contribute to physiological as well as pathophysiological processes.

Balanced nutrition is very important for maintaining health and strengthening the immune system as well as the daily functions of the body. The implementation of a nutrition program that is created with natural and healthy foods and that includes all food groups in moderation provides the body with the energy it needs and contains all nutrients in balanced proportions. Along with the foods consumed, the need for vitamins and minerals should be met in addition to the nutrients divided into three groups as protein, carbohydrate and fats. Vitamin E, one of the fat soluble vitamins; It is a nutrient that has important roles in many areas such as skin health, eye health and hormonal order. At the same time, vitamin E, one of the vitamins with antioxidant properties, is also very effective in strengthening the immune system. For this reason, it is important to take the vitamin E needed by the body regularly with foods.

What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is one of the basic types of vitamins, also called tocopherols, which are necessary for the daily functions of the body. Just like vitamins A, D and K, vitamin E is also fat-soluble and can be stored in the liver to some extent. This vitamin, which is absorbed from the small intestines after being taken with food, is a nutrient whose deficiency is less common than water-soluble vitamins due to its ability to be stored in the liver. In addition to the liver, some vitamin E can be stored in the heart, kidneys, adrenal glands, muscles and tissues. The only form of this vitamin, which has eight different forms, that can be used in the human body is the form called alpha tocopherol. Vegetable oils and vegetable foods containing valuable oils are among the main sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E can be taken into the body with foods, and in some cases, vitamin E can be taken into the body as supplements. The daily vitamin E requirement in adults is at the level of 10 mg for men and 8 mg for women. For children, the daily requirement varies between 3-10 mg depending on the age of the child. It is very important to meet this requirement on a daily basis. When vitamin E sources are not consumed in sufficient amounts for a long time or when vitamin E deficiency develops due to some diseases, some health problems begin to occur.

What are the benefits of vitamin E?
Vitamin E has many important functions in the human body. In order for many organs in the body to function properly, it is necessary to have sufficient vitamin E levels. This vitamin is also very important for the hormonal system to work properly. Especially in order to produce sex hormones in a healthy way, to prevent gynecological and urological diseases, and to increase reproductive ability, foods containing vitamin E should be consumed in sufficient amounts. At the same time, vitamin E, an antioxidant vitamin, prevents them from causing harmful effects on the body by reducing free radicals. In this way, it reduces oxidative stress and helps fight many diseases, especially cancer, by preventing the formation of genetic damage in cells. Vitamin E, which contributes to the strengthening of the immune system, contributes to the protection of the body against infectious diseases when taken in sufficient amount. Adequate vitamin E intake is also very important for eye and skin health. In order to maintain healthy eye development in children in the growth and development period, and to protect eye health in adult individuals, the daily vitamin E requirement should be fully met. In addition, it is important to meet the vitamin E requirement in terms of providing skin elasticity, increasing the renewal rate of the skin, obtaining a healthier skin appearance and preventing defects such as wrinkles.

Some of the other benefits of vitamin E in the body are:

Prevents cell damage: Thanks to its antioxidant properties, vitamin E prevents free radicals from damaging cells and causing cancer. In this way, it helps prevent cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Protects the skin against aging: Vitamin E, which has an important role in the protection of skin health, contributes to the protection of the moisture balance of the skin, the rapid healing of wounds and burns, and the prevention of wrinkles and other skin problems. At the same time, vitamin E, which provides protection against skin cancer, is included in many cosmetic products.
Improves hair and nail health: Vitamin E; It helps hair grow healthily and quickly, as well as having a structure that is resistant to breakage and shedding. Vitamin E, which has positive effects in terms of nail health, helps nails to grow healthily while preventing yellowing, cracking and peeling.
Reduces the effects of skin diseases such as eczema and psoriasis: The daily requirement for vitamin E is It helps to reduce the symptoms of dryness in skin diseases such as eczema and atopic dermatitis and to increase the moisture content of the skin. It also has important effects in reducing the complications seen in psoriasis and supporting treatment.
What do you have vitamin E in?
In order to meet the daily requirement of vitamin E, basic food types containing plenty of this vitamin must be present in the diet sufficiently. The most valuable sources of vitamin E;

Vegetable oils such as olive oil, hazelnut oil,
Oil seeds such as hazelnuts, almonds, walnuts, sunflower seeds,
Vegetables and greens such as spinach, cress, parsley, lettuce, celery, cabbage, broccoli, pumpkin,
Fish species such as anchovy, salmon, mackerel, sardines and tuna,
Fruits such as avocados, bananas and kiwi
Red meat,
They are foods like eggs.
Should vitamin E supplements be used?
Vitamin E supplements or vitamin-mineral tablets containing this vitamin can be found in pharmacies and stores where wellness products are sold. However, with a healthy nutrition program that includes all food groups in balanced amounts, the vitamin E requirement can be fully met. For this reason, individuals who do not have a medical obstacle to consume vitamin E source foods do not need to use vitamin E supplements. As with all vitamins and minerals, it is healthier to meet vitamin E naturally. Therefore, it is not recommended to use vitamin and mineral supplements unconsciously for purposes such as protecting from diseases or strengthening the body without consulting a physician, and it should be known that excessive intake of vitamins and minerals can adversely affect health. In addition, vitamin E supplements can be prescribed for people with a diagnosis of vitamin E deficiency or for individuals who follow a special diet due to any disease and therefore cannot consume vitamin E resources sufficiently. These supplements are usually in the form of capsules and the frequency and dosage of use should be determined by the physician. Vitamin E deficiency is generally seen in those who do not consume enough vegetable oils, and those who follow diets with very low fat content. In addition, when vitamin E absorption from the intestines is not sufficient, vitamin E deficiency may develop in people with diseases related to the digestive system. Such situations can be counted among the situations where vitamin E supplements can be used with the doctor's recommendation.

Vitamin E deficiency includes vision problems, weakness and fatigue, anemia, cracks in the skin and tongue, anemia, easy bruising on the skin, muscle and bone pain, muscle loss, nail and hair health deterioration. Since many of these symptoms are symptoms that can be seen in different diseases, people who experience symptoms should definitely apply to health institutions and undergo an examination. If you are experiencing symptoms of vitamin E deficiency, you can apply to a healthcare institution and have the necessary tests done. According to your examination and test results, you can find out whether you need vitamin supplements or not, and you can protect your health by paying attention to the recommendations given by your physician.

What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It supports the body's immune system and helps regenerate cells. In addition to being found naturally in many foods, it can also be taken as a nutritional supplement. Vitamin E is fat soluble. This means your body stores and uses it as needed.

Which Foods Contain Vitamin E?
Foods containing vitamin E can be listed as follows (2):

Vegetable Oils:
Wheat germ oil
Sunflower oil
Safflower oil
corn oil
Soybean Oil
Dried Nuts:
Sunflower seeds
Green Leafy Vegetables:
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Skin Benefits Of Vitamin E?
Among the benefits of vitamin E to the skin; These include removing wrinkles, increasing the speed of skin renewal and ensuring the moisture balance of the skin.

Is Vitamin E Applied To The Skin? How Is Vitamin E Applied To The Skin?
Vitamin E can be applied to the skin through its liquid form in capsules or through moisturizing creams containing vitamin E. Click to view vitamin E capsules.

Does Vitamin E Grow Hair?
When vitamin E is applied to the scalp, it can help hair growth by increasing blood circulation and regulating the pH level.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with several forms, but alpha-tocopherol is the only one used by the human body. Its main role is to act as an antioxidant, scavenging loose electrons—so-called “free radicals”—that can damage cells.It also enhances immune function and prevents clots from forming in heart arteries. Antioxidant vitamins, including vitamin E, came to public attention in the 1980s when scientists began to understand that free radical damage was involved in the early stages of artery-clogging atherosclerosis, and might also contribute to cancer, vision loss, and a host of other chronic conditions. Vitamin E has the ability to protect cells from free radical damage as well as stop the production of free radical cells entirely. However, conflicting study results have dimmed some of the promise of using high dose vitamin E to prevent chronic diseases.

Food Sources
Vitamin E is found in plant-based oils, nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables.

Wheat germ oil
Sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil
Sunflower seeds
Peanuts, peanut butter
Beet greens, collard greens, spinach
Red bell pepper
Signs of Deficiency
Because vitamin E is found in a variety of foods and supplements, a deficiency in the U.S. is rare. People who have digestive disorders or do not absorb fat properly (e.g., pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis, celiac disease) can develop a vitamin E deficiency. The following are common signs of a deficiency:

Retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eyes that can impair vision)
Peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerves, usually in the hands or feet, causing weakness or pain)
Ataxia (loss of control of body movements)
Decreased immune function
There is no evidence of toxic effects from vitamin E found naturally in foods. Most adults who obtain more than the RDA of 22 IU daily are using multivitamins or separate vitamin E supplements that contain anywhere from 400-1000 IU daily. There have not been reports of harmful side effects of supplement use in healthy people. However, there is a risk of excess bleeding, particularly with doses greater than 1000 mg daily or if an individual is also using a blood thinning medication such as warfarin. For this reason, an upper limit for vitamin E has been set for adults 19 years and older of 1000 mg daily (1465 IU) of any form of tocopherol supplement. 

Vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthen the body's natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system).

Good sources of vitamin E
Vitamin E is a group of compounds found in a wide variety of foods.

Good sources include:

plant oils – such as rapeseed (vegetable oil), sunflower, soya, corn and olive oil
nuts and seeds
wheatgerm – found in cereals and cereal product
How much vitamin E do I need?
The amount of vitamin E you need is:

4mg a day for men
3mg a day for women
You should be able to get all the vitamin E you need from your diet.

Any vitamin E your body does not need immediately is stored for future use, so you do not need it in your diet every day.

What happens if I take too much vitamin E?
There is not enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high doses of vitamin E supplements each day.

What does the Department of Health and Social Care advise?
You should be able to get the amount of vitamin E you need by eating a varied and balanced diet.

If you take vitamin E supplements, do not take too much as this could be harmful.

Taking 540mg (800 IU) or less a day of vitamin E supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Vitamin E is found naturally in some foods, added to others, and available as a dietary supplement. “Vitamin E” is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with distinctive antioxidant activities.

Naturally occurring vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol) that have varying levels of biological activity. Alpha- (or α-) tocopherol is the only form that is recognized to meet human requirements.

Serum concentrations of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) depend on the liver, which takes up the nutrient after the various forms are absorbed from the small intestine. The liver preferentially resecretes only alpha-tocopherol via the hepatic alpha-tocopherol transfer protein; the liver metabolizes and excretes the other vitamin E forms. As a result, blood and cellular concentrations of other forms of vitamin E are lower than those of alpha-tocopherol and have been the subjects of less research.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of ROS formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Scientists are investigating whether, by limiting free-radical production and possibly through other mechanisms, vitamin E might help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.

In addition to its activities as an antioxidant, vitamin E is involved in immune function and, as shown primarily by in vitro studies of cells, cell signaling, regulation of gene expression, and other metabolic processes. Alpha-tocopherol inhibits the activity of protein kinase C, an enzyme involved in cell proliferation and differentiation in smooth muscle cells, platelets, and monocytes. Vitamin-E–replete endothelial cells lining the interior surface of blood vessels are better able to resist blood-cell components adhering to this surface. Vitamin E also increases the expression of two enzymes that suppress arachidonic acid metabolism, thereby increasing the release of prostacyclin from the endothelium, which, in turn, dilates blood vessels and inhibits platelet aggregation.

Recommended Intakes
Intake recommendations for vitamin E and other nutrients are provided in the Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) developed by the Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies (formerly National Academy of Sciences). DRI is the general term for a set of reference values used to plan and assess nutrient intakes of healthy people. These values, which vary by age and gender, include:

Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA): Average daily level of intake sufficient to meet the nutrient requirements of nearly all (97%–98%) healthy individuals; often used to plan nutritionally adequate diets for individuals.
Adequate Intake (AI): Intake at this level is assumed to ensure nutritional adequacy; established when evidence is insufficient to develop an RDA.
Estimated Average Requirement (EAR): Average daily level of intake estimated to meet the requirements of 50% of healthy individuals; usually used to assess the nutrient intakes of groups of people and to plan nutritionally adequate diets for them; can also be used to assess the nutrient intakes of individuals.
Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL): Maximum daily intake unlikely to cause adverse health effects.
The FNB’s vitamin E recommendations are for alpha-tocopherol alone, the only form maintained in plasma. The FNB based these recommendations primarily on serum levels of the nutrient that provide adequate protection in a test measuring the survival of erythrocytes when exposed to hydrogen peroxide, a free radical. Acknowledging “great uncertainties” in these data, the FNB has called for research to identify other biomarkers for assessing vitamin E requirements.

Naturally sourced vitamin E is called RRR-alpha-tocopherol (commonly labeled as d-alpha-tocopherol); the synthetically produced form is all rac-alpha-tocopherol (commonly labeled as dl-alpha-tocopherol).

RDAs for vitamin E are provided in milligrams (mg) and are listed in Table 1. One mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is equivalent to 1 mg RRR-alpha-tocopherol or 2 mg all rac-alpha-tocopherol. Because insufficient data are available to develop RDAs for infants, AIs were developed based on the amount of vitamin E consumed by healthy breastfed babies.

Numerous foods provide vitamin E. Nuts, seeds, and vegetable oils are among the best sources of alpha-tocopherol, and significant amounts are available in green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals (see Table 2 for a more detailed list). Most vitamin E in American diets is in the form of gamma-tocopherol from soybean, canola, corn, and other vegetable oils and food products.

Dietary supplements
Supplements of vitamin E typically provide only alpha-tocopherol, although “mixed” products containing other tocopherols and even tocotrienols are available. Naturally occurring alpha-tocopherol exists in one stereoisomeric form. In contrast, synthetically produced alpha-tocopherol contains equal amounts of its eight possible stereoisomers; serum and tissues maintain only four of these stereoisomers. A given amount of synthetic alpha-tocopherol (all rac-alpha-tocopherol; commonly labeled as “DL” or “dl”) is therefore only half as active as the same amount (by weight in mg) of the natural form (RRR-alpha-tocopherol; commonly labeled as “D” or “d”).

Most vitamin-E-only supplements provide ≥67 mg (100 IU of natural vitamin E) of the nutrient. These amounts are substantially higher than the RDAs.

Alpha-tocopherol in dietary supplements and fortified foods is often esterified to prolong its shelf life while protecting its antioxidant properties. The body hydrolyzes and absorbs these esters (alpha-tocopheryl acetate and succinate) as efficiently as alpha-tocopherol.

Vitamin E Intakes and Status
Three national surveys—the 2001–2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), NHANES III (1988–1994), and the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (1994–1996) have found that the diets of most Americans provide less than the RDA levels of vitamin E. These intake estimates might be low, however, because the amounts and types of fat added during cooking are often unknown and not accounted for.

The FNB suggests that mean intakes of vitamin E among healthy adults are probably higher than the RDA but cautions that low-fat diets might provide insufficient amounts unless people make their food choices carefully by, for example, increasing their intakes of nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables. The 1999–2000 NHANES found that 11.3% of adults took vitamin E supplements containing at least 400 IU.

Vitamin E Deficiency
Frank vitamin E deficiency is rare and overt deficiency symptoms have not been found in healthy people who obtain little vitamin E from their diets. Premature babies of very low birth weight (<1,500 grams) might be deficient in vitamin E. Vitamin E supplementation in these infants might reduce the risk of some complications, such as those affecting the retina, but they can also increase the risk of infections.

Because the digestive tract requires fat to absorb vitamin E, people with fat-malabsorption disorders are more likely to become deficient than people without such disorders. Deficiency symptoms include peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. People with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or an inability to secrete bile from the liver into the digestive tract, for example, often pass greasy stools or have chronic diarrhea; as a result, they sometimes require water-soluble forms of vitamin E, such as tocopheryl polyethylene glycol-1000 succinate.

Some people with abetalipoproteinemia, a rare inherited disorder resulting in poor absorption of dietary fat, require enormous doses of supplemental vitamin E (approximately 100 mg/kg or 5–10 g/day). Vitamin E deficiency secondary to abetalipoproteinemia causes such problems as poor transmission of nerve impulses, muscle weakness, and retinal degeneration that leads to blindness. Ataxia and vitamin E deficiency (AVED) is another rare, inherited disorder in which the liver’s alpha-tocopherol transfer protein is defective or absent. People with AVED have such severe vitamin E deficiency that they develop nerve damage and lose the ability to walk unless they take large doses of supplemental vitamin E.

Vitamin E and Health
Many claims have been made about vitamin E’s potential to promote health and prevent and treat disease. The mechanisms by which vitamin E might provide this protection include its function as an antioxidant and its roles in anti-inflammatory processes, inhibition of platelet aggregation, and immune enhancement.

A primary barrier to characterizing the roles of vitamin E in health is the lack of validated biomarkers for vitamin E intake and status to help relate intakes to valid predictors of clinical outcomes. This section focuses on four diseases and disorders in which vitamin E might be involved: heart disease, cancer, eye disorders, and cognitive decline.

Coronary heart disease
Evidence that vitamin E could help prevent or delay coronary heart disease (CHD) comes from several sources. In vitro studies have found that the nutrient inhibits oxidation of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, thought to be a crucial initiating step for atherosclerosis. Vitamin E might also help prevent the formation of blood clots that could lead to a heart attack or venous thromboembolism.

Several observational studies have associated lower rates of heart disease with higher vitamin E intakes. One study of approximately 90,000 nurses found that the incidence of heart disease was 30% to 40% lower in those with the highest intakes of vitamin E, primarily from supplements. Among a group of 5,133 Finnish men and women followed for a mean of 14 years, higher vitamin E intakes from food were associated with decreased mortality from CHD.

However, randomized clinical trials cast doubt on the efficacy of vitamin E supplements to prevent CHD. For example, the Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) study, which followed almost 10,000 patients at high risk of heart attack or stroke for 4.5 years, found that participants taking 400 IU/day of natural vitamin E (268 mg) experienced no fewer cardiovascular events or hospitalizations for heart failure or chest pain than participants taking a placebo. In the HOPE-TOO followup study, almost 4,000 of the original participants continued to take vitamin E or placebo for an additional 2.5 years. HOPE-TOO found that vitamin E provided no significant protection against heart attacks, strokes, unstable angina, or deaths from cardiovascular disease or other causes after 7 years of treatment. Participants taking vitamin E, however, were 13% more likely to experience, and 21% more likely to be hospitalized for, heart failure, a statistically significant but unexpected finding not reported in other large studies.

The HOPE and HOPE-TOO trials provide compelling evidence that moderately high doses of vitamin E supplements do not reduce the risk of serious cardiovascular events among men and women >50 years of age with established heart disease or diabetes. These findings are supported by evidence from the Women’s Angiographic Vitamin and Estrogen study, in which 423 postmenopausal women with some degree of coronary stenosis took supplements with 400 IU vitamin E (form not specified) and 500 mg vitamin C twice a day or placebo for >4 years. Not only did the supplements provide no cardiovascular benefits, but all-cause mortality was significantly higher in the women taking the supplements.

The latest published clinical trial of vitamin E’s effects on the heart and blood vessels of women included almost 40,000 healthy women ≥45 years of age who were randomly assigned to receive either 600 IU of natural vitamin E (402 mg) on alternate days or placebo and who were followed for an average of 10 years. The investigators found no significant differences in rates of overall cardiovascular events (combined nonfatal heart attacks, strokes, and cardiovascular deaths) or all-cause mortality between the groups. However, the study did find two positive and significant results for women taking vitamin E: they had a 24% reduction in cardiovascular death rates, and those ≥65 years of age had a 26% decrease in nonfatal heart attack and a 49% decrease in cardiovascular death rates.

The most recent published clinical trial of vitamin E and men’s cardiovascular health included almost 15,000 healthy physicians ≥50 years of age who were randomly assigned to receive 400 IU synthetic alpha-tocopherol (180 mg) every other day, 500 mg vitamin C daily, both vitamins, or placebo. During a mean follow-up period of 8 years, intake of vitamin E (and/or vitamin C) had no effect on the incidence of major cardiovascular events, myocardial infarction, stroke, or cardiovascular morality. Furthermore, use of vitamin E was associated with a significantly increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

In general, clinical trials have not provided evidence that routine use of vitamin E supplements prevents cardiovascular disease or reduces its morbidity and mortality. However, participants in these studies have been largely middle-aged or elderly individuals with demonstrated heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. Some researchers have suggested that understanding the potential utility of vitamin E in preventing CHD might require longer studies in younger participants taking higher doses of the supplement. Further research is needed to determine whether supplemental vitamin E has any protective value for younger, healthier people at no obvious risk of CHD.

Antioxidant nutrients like vitamin E protect cell constituents from the damaging effects of free radicals that, if unchecked, might contribute to cancer development. Vitamin E might also block the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines formed in the stomach from nitrites in foods and protect against cancer by enhancing immune function . Unfortunately, human trials and surveys that have attempted to associate vitamin E intake with cancer incidence have found that vitamin E is not beneficial in most cases.

Both the HOPE-TOO Trial and Women’s Health Study evaluated whether vitamin E supplements might protect people from cancer. HOPE-TOO, which followed men and women ≥55 years of age with heart disease or diabetes for 7 years, found no significant differences in the number of new cancers or cancer deaths between individuals randomly assigned to take 400 IU/day of natural vitamin E (268 mg) or a placebo. In the Women’s Health Study, in which healthy women ≥45 years of age received either 600 IU of natural vitamin E (402 mg) every other day or a placebo for 10 years, the supplement did not reduce the risk of developing any form of cancer.

Several studies have examined whether vitamin E intake and/or supplemental vitamin E affects the risk of developing prostate cancer. A prospective cohort study of >29,000 men found no association between dietary or supplemental vitamin E intake and prostate cancer risk. However, among current smokers and men who had quit, vitamin E intakes of more than 400 IU/day (form not specified) were associated with a statistically significant 71% reduction in the risk of advanced prostate cancer. In a clinical trial involving 29,133 male smokers, men randomly assigned to take daily supplements of 111 IU of synthetic vitamin E (50 mg, as dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate) for 5–8 years had 32% fewer prostate cancers compared to subjects who did not take the supplements. Based in part on the promising results of this study, a large randomized clinical trial, called the SELECT trial, began in 2001 to determine whether 7–12 years of daily supplementation with 400 IU of synthetic vitamin E (180 mg, as dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate), with or without selenium (200 mcg, as L-selenomethionine), reduced the number of new prostate cancers in 35,533 healthy men age 50 and older. The trial was discontinued in October 2008 when an analysis found that the supplements, taken alone or together for about 5.5 years, did not prevent prostate cancer . Results from an additional 1.5 years of follow-up from this trial (during which the subjects no longer received vitamin E or selenium), showed that the men who had taken the vitamin E had a 17 percent increased risk of prostate cancer compared to men only taking placebos, a statistically significant difference. The risk of developing prostate cancer was also slightly increased in subjects taking vitamin E plus selenium or selenium alone, but the differences were not statistically significant. No differences were found among groups in the incidence of lung or colorectal cancers or all cancers combined. Study staff members will continue to monitor participants’ health for up to 5 more years. The National Cancer Institute website provides additional information on the SELECT trialexternal link disclaimer.

One study of women in Iowa provides evidence that higher intakes of vitamin E from foods and supplements could decrease the risk of colon cancer, especially in women <65 years of age. The overall relative risk for the highest quintile of intake (>35.7 IU/day, form not specified) compared to the lowest quintile (<5.7 IU/day, form not specified) was 0.32. However, prospective cohort studies of 87,998 women in the Nurses’ Health Study and 47,344 men in the Health Professionals Follow-up Study failed to replicate these results. Although some research links higher intakes of vitamin E with decreased incidence of breast cancer, an examination of the impact of dietary factors, including vitamin E, on the incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in >18,000 women found no benefit from the vitamin.

The American Cancer Society conducted an epidemiologic study examining the association between use of vitamin C and vitamin E supplements and bladder cancer mortality. Of the almost one million adults followed between 1982 and 1998, adults who took supplemental vitamin E for 10 years or longer had a reduced risk of death from bladder cancer; vitamin C supplementation provided no protection.

Evidence to date is insufficient to support taking vitamin E to prevent cancer. In fact, daily use of large-dose vitamin E supplements (400 IU of synthetic vitamin E [180 mg]) may increase the risk of prostate cancer.

Eye disorders
Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are among the most common causes of significant vision loss in older people. Their etiologies are usually unknown, but the cumulative effects of oxidative stress have been postulated to play a role. If so, nutrients with antioxidant functions, such as vitamin E, could be used to prevent or treat these conditions.

Prospective cohort studies have found that people with relatively high dietary intakes of vitamin E (e.g., 20 mg/day [30 IU]) have an approximately 20% lower risk of developing AMD than people with low intakes (e.g., <10 mg/day [<15 IU]). However, two randomized controlled trials in which participants took supplements of vitamin E (500 IU/day [335 mg] d-alpha-tocopherol in one study and 111 IU/day (50 mg) dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate combined with 20 mg/day beta-carotene in the other) or a placebo failed to show a protective effect for vitamin E on AMD. The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS), a large randomized clinical trial, found that participants at high risk of developing advanced AMD (i.e., those with intermediate AMD or those with advanced AMD in one eye) reduced their risk of developing advanced AMD by 25% by taking a daily supplement containing vitamin E (400 IU [180 mg] dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate), beta-carotene (15 mg), vitamin C (500 mg), zinc (80 mg), and copper (2 mg) compared to participants taking a placebo over 5 years. A follow-up AREDS2 study confirmed the value of this and similar supplement formulations in reducing the progression of AMD over a median follow-up period of 5 years”.

Several observational studies have revealed a potential relationship between vitamin E supplements and the risk of cataract formation. One prospective cohort study found that lens clarity was superior in participants who took vitamin E supplements and those with higher blood levels of the vitamin. In another study, long-term use of vitamin E supplements was associated with slower progression of age-related lens opacification. However, in the AREDS trial, the use of a vitamin E-containing (as dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate) formulation had no apparent effect on the development or progression of cataracts over an average of 6.3 years. The AREDS2 study, which also tested formulations containing 400 IU (180 mg) vitamin E, confirmed these findings”.

Overall, the available evidence is inconsistent with respect to whether vitamin E supplements, taken alone or in combination with other antioxidants, can reduce the risk of developing AMD or cataracts. However, the formulations of vitamin E, other antioxidants, zinc, and copper used in AREDS hold promise for slowing the progression of AMD in people at high risk of developing advanced AMD.

Cognitive decline
The brain has a high oxygen consumption rate and abundant polyunsaturated fatty acids in the neuronal cell membranes. Researchers hypothesize that if cumulative free-radical damage to neurons over time contributes to cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease, then ingestion of sufficient or supplemental antioxidants (such as vitamin E) might provide some protection. This hypothesis was supported by the results of a clinical trial in 341 patients with Alzheimer’s disease of moderate severity who were randomly assigned to receive a placebo, vitamin E (2,000 IU/day dl-alpha-tocopherol), a monoamine oxidase inhibitor (selegiline), or vitamin E and selegiline. Over 2 years, treatment with vitamin E and selegiline, separately or together, significantly delayed functional deterioration and the need for institutionalization compared to placebo. However, participants taking vitamin E experienced significantly more falls.

Vitamin E consumption from foods or supplements was associated with less cognitive decline over 3 years in a prospective cohort study of elderly, free-living individuals aged 65–102 years. However, a clinical trial in primarily healthy older women who were randomly assigned to receive 600 IU (402 mg) d-alpha-tocopherol every other day or a placebo for ≤4 years found that the supplements provided no apparent cognitive benefits. Another trial in which 769 men and women with mild cognitive impairment were randomly assigned to receive 2,000 IU/day vitamin E (form not specified), a cholinesterase inhibitor (donepezil), or placebo found no significant differences in the progression rate of Alzheimer’s disease between the vitamin E and placebo groups.

In summary, most research results do not support the use of vitamin E supplements by healthy or mildly impaired individuals to maintain cognitive performance or slow its decline with normal aging. More research is needed to identify the role of vitamin E, if any, in the management of cognitive impairment.

The implications of these analyses for the potential adverse effects of high-dose vitamin E supplements are unclear. Participants in the studies included in these analyses were typically middle-aged or older and had chronic diseases or related risk factors. These participants often consumed other supplements in addition to vitamin E. Some of the studies analyzed took place in developing countries in which nutritional deficiencies are common. A review of the subset of studies in which vitamin E supplements were given to healthy individuals for the primary prevention of chronic disease found no convincing evidence that the supplements increased mortality.

However, results from the recently published, large SELECT trial show that vitamin E supplements (400 IU/day [180 mg] as dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate) may harm adult men in the general population by increasing their risk of prostate cancer. Follow-up studies are assessing whether the cancer risk was associated with baseline blood levels of vitamin E and selenium prior to supplementation as well as whether changes in one or more genes might increase a man’s risk of developing prostate cancer while taking vitamin E.

Vitamin E supplements have the potential to interact with several types of medications. A few examples are provided below. People taking these and other medications on a regular basis should discuss their vitamin E intakes with their healthcare providers.

Most people in the United States don’t need to supplement their diet with additional vitamin E. Eating foods rich in this nutrient is typically enough to support skin health.

When taken orally, through food or supplements, vitamin E is delivered to the skin by sebum, the oily secretions produced by sebaceous glands.

People with oily skin may have higher concentrations of vitamin E in their dermis and epidermis.

Oily areas of the skin, such as the face and shoulders, may also have higher concentrations of vitamin E than dry areas.Vitamin E is available in cream form and as an oil for topical use. It’s added to many cosmetic products, including anti-aging creams, eye serums, sunscreens, and makeup.

Vitamin E easily absorbs into skin. Topical use via creams or other products may increase the amount of vitamin E stored within the sebaceous glands.

Products that contain both vitamin E and vitamin C may be less likely to dissipate quickly if exposed to UV light. An animal study reported in Nutrition and CancerTrusted Source indicated that topical use of vitamin E reduced acute and chronic skin damage caused by UV irradiation.

While vitamin E oil is very thick and hard to spread on skin, it can make an excellent moisturizer for dry, patchy areas of skin. Products containing vitamin E as an ingredient may be easier to apply for overall use on skin. Problem areas that are very dry, such as the cuticles and elbows, might benefit from topical application of vitamin E oil.

Many vitamin E supplements come in the form of capsules that can be broken open and used directly on dry areas.There is no reason to limit the intake of foods containing vitamin E. These aren’t harmful, even in abundant quantities.

Taking supplements can be risky, however, as large doses of vitamin E can inhibit the ability of blood to clot when needed, causing serious bleeding to occur. Bleeding in the brain (hemorrhagic stroke) may also result.

A clinical trial study reported in the Journal of the American Medical AssociationTrusted Source found that vitamin E dietary supplements significantly increased the risk of developing prostate cancer in otherwise healthy men.Taking vitamin E supplements may interfere with some cholesterol-lowering medications. It may also reduce the effectiveness of chemotherapy and radiation treatments for cancer.

Vitamin E supplements can also interact with warfarin (Coumadin), a drug prescribed for preventing blood clotting.

Talk to your doctor about your use of vitamin E supplements prior to taking them, especially if you have any underlying health conditions.Many other vitamins, such as D, C, K, and B, are also beneficial for optimum skin health. The best way to ensure that your skin gets the complete nourishment it needs is to eat a wide range of healthy foods, including fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and lean protein sources.

Vitamin D is typically absorbed via sun exposure. Protecting your skin from the sun is important, but most people are able to tolerate small amounts of sun exposure without negative repercussions. Talk to your dermatologist to determine how much sun you should get each day.

Products containing vitamins and minerals can also help to nourish skin. For example, topically applied zinc can help to treat acne and accelerate wound healing. Niacin (vitamin B-3) can help keep skin moisturized and supple when applied topically.Vitamin E is readily available in many healthy foods. Most people in the United States don’t need to supplement their diets with vitamin E in order to gain its benefits. And vitamin E supplements may be dangerous to take in large amounts.

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may be effective at reducing UV damage in skin. And vitamin E applied topically may help nourish and protect your skin from damage caused by free radicals."Topically, it can be very helpful [for] a range of skin disorders, as well as skin repair," explains board-certified dermatologist Ava Shamban. "It assists in various kinds of cellular restoration from sun damage to healing support for scars or burns." But how does vitamin E work on the skin? What is the mechanism?

As mentioned, vitamin E is an antioxidant, explains cosmetic chemist Ginger King. A quick refresher on why antioxidants are so important to our health, topically and internally: They prevent oxidative damage to cells by helping to remove free radicals (the bad guys).

"Free radicals are on a destructive quest to become stable, so they are ready and willing to snatch an electron from anything that comes in its path, including DNA, skin proteins, connective tissues, and cell membranes," Wilson explains. "The more you can quench the free radicals' thirst for stability, the better your skin will be protected, which is where vitamin E comes into play."


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Vitamin E fights off free radicals on the skin, which are a result of daily environmental stressors like unprotected sun exposure and air pollution. In fighting off free radicals, vitamin E helps protect the skin from damage.

Additionally, vitamin E has "moisturizing and healing" benefits, and helps to "strengthen skin barrier function," King says. Basically, it's an all-around "workhorse of a vitamin," as Shamban calls it. "Vitamin E is also a natural anti-inflammatory, so it can be soothing and help calm the skin," she says. "It's also good for hydrating skin, and serves as a moderately effective natural barrier to the sun.""Vitamin E is usually not advisable for supersensitive, very oily, or acne-prone skin," Shamban says. Although it's very uncommon, topical vitamin E can also act as an allergen to some, causing irritation, itching, or even a rash when it touches the skin. Scientists still aren't sure what causes certain people to become allergic to it (King compares it to a peanut allergy), but according to board-certified dermatologist Audrey Kunin, less than one percent of people are topically sensitive to the ingredient.

Considering that it's also a naturally occurring substance in the body, and it's also been shown to relieve eczema for some people, sensitivity is really "a case-by-case basis that, at this point, cannot be generalized as an allergen," Wilson explains.

For the vast majority, though, vitamin E can posit serious skin benefits, Shamban says. Because vitamin E is oil soluble (meaning it can be delivered through or as an oil), incorporating it into your skin-care routine through oils and moisturizers are some of the best ways to use the ingredient.

When vitamin E is paired with vitamin C, Shamban says, they are even more effective as partners, which is why many serums contain both, like all-time favorites SkinCeuticals's famous C E Ferulic serum, Maelove's repeatedly sold-out The Glow Maker, and Sunday Riley C.E.O. Rapid Flash Brightening Serum.

If you're new to using vitamin E, or your skin is on the sensitive side, try it out in a moisturizer first (since serums are technically more potent concentrations). Some great options are the Youth to the People's Superfood Air-Whip Moisture Cream and the Kiehl's Ultra Facial Moisturizer.

All products featured on Allure are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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