Vitamin E Benefits

Author: Emily Seddon   Date Posted:14 November 2016 

Vitamin E is good for me!

Vitamin E is considered essential for human health although it was first discovered due to its role in the fertility of rats. The Greek words tokos, means offspring, and phero, means ‘to bear’, hence tocopherol literally translates as ‘to bear children’.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds known as tocopherols and tocotrienols. Although it was first discovered in 1922 due to its role in the fertility of rats, Vitamin E has only been considered essential for human health since 1966.

The forms of Vitamin E occur naturally in different chemical structures (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol) and all have varying levels of activity within the body. Alpha tocopherol is the most researched form of Vitamin E.

Vitamin E supplements are available in a natural form, which is d-alpha-tocopherol, and a synthetic form, which is dl-alpha-tocopherol. The natural form is more biologically active.

Why is it good for me?

Vitamin E plays an important role in:

  • Cardiovascular health
  • Eye health
  • Cognitive function
  • Cell membranes integrity
  • Skin health

How can that be?

The most interesting way Vitamin E performs is its various roles is via the antioxidant network. It works synergistically with antioxidants including CoQ10, glutathione and Vitamin C, enabling all to continue their mighty work.

The antioxidant activity is particularly potent in regards to protecting fatty acids from oxidation. Fatty acids are found in abundance in every single cell membrane and help maintain the structure of our cells. Human health is dependent on our cells remaining healthy and strong! Nature reflects the importance of this by combining vitamin E with most dietary sources of fatty acids.

Vitamin E also provides benefits to the human body by its potent anti-inflammatory action. It’s also been shown to promote circulation and plays a role in immune function.

What does 'IU' stand for?

The abbreviation ‘IU’ on vitamin labels means ‘international units’. It is a standard used by the scientific community to measure the amount of fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D and E in a capsule or tablet. Unlike milligrams, which measure weight, IU measures the quantity that produces a biological effect.

Written by Emily Seddon
Emily Seddon

Emily (BHSc Naturopathy) is a qualified naturopath with a love of science. Growing up with a hippy mum and dad, Emily grew used to thinking outside the box for her own health. She has since completed a degree in Health Science, majoring in Naturopathy, combining that passion for healthy living with scientific and traditional evidence to help others to live happy and healthy lives.

She loves using herbal and nutritional medicine to treat ailments and lives by the philosophy of “there is no such thing as too much tea."

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