By Alfred Okoko
The importance of vitamin E to our health is due to its protective effects. Oxidative stress is the leading cause of most chronic degenerative disorders e.g cancer, low Immunity, diabetes, cardiac problems etc. The process of oxidation in the body cells produces harmful chemicals refer to as free radicals. These are unstable molecules lacking an electron. Antioxidant’s like vitamin E neutralise these hence protecting all our cells from destruction.
1. Skin Protection
Vitamin E’s antioxidant property plays a major role in the protection of the skin cells from any oxidative effect. It helps lower aging of the skin. Therefore a number of skin creams utilize this benefit in their formulation. It also protects against UV radiation damage to the skin.
2. Cancer Prevention
A low level of vitamin E may be associated with some cancers. When adequate levels are available it protects the body cells from developing cancer.
3. Nervous System
Quiet beneficial in protecting the nerves. It’s an antioxidant therefore helps in neutralising any oxidative effects on the tissues. It forms part of recipes for the nervous health.
4. Respiratory System
It improves the lung function through it’s antioxidant effect. The lung cells are protected from a number of cancers, bacterial infections etc.
In arthritis pain and Inflammation are the major hallmarks. Being an antioxidant, it helps protect oxidative damage of cells. It also helps in lowering the Inflammation response. It improve joint function in general.
The eyes may develop cellular damage resulting in diseases such as cataracts. Vitamin E plays a major role in both protecting and healing the eye tissues.
7. Menopausal Syndrome
It may help diminish menopausal symptoms such as hot flushes. It may trigger production of some estrogen from fat cells.
8. Immune Function
Vitamin E improves the functions of the immune system. It combined powerfully with other antioxidants such as vit. A and C.
9. Red Blood Cells
This vitamin is essential in strengthening the red blood cells hence preventing the occurrence of anemia.
10. Fertility Issues
This vitamin helps enhance fertility.
Signs of Vitamin E Deficiency
- Dry skin
- Nerve and muscle damage
- Vision problems
- Lowered immunity
- Fertility issues
- Muscle cramps
- Joint aches
Foods Rich in Vitamin E
- Wheat germ oil
- Olive oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanuts and peanut butter
- Green Leafy Vegetables
- Kiwi Fruits
- Vegetable oils
- Red bell pepper
- Beet greens
The best rich sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils and and fats. However, when we consume large quantities of these oils our body responds by increasing the rate of metabolizing them. This may therefore lead to a deficiency state. Food processing also may lead to low levels of vitamin E in the final product. Therefore supplementation may come handy through supplements that are available nowadays. This will help rectify the deficiency.
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