Vitamin E - Food Sources and Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin E is also called Alpha-tocophherol, is the most active form of vitamin E in humans. It is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in eight different forms. Each form has its own biological activity. It is also a powerful biological antioxidant.
Antioxidants such as vitamin E act to protect your cells against the effects of free radicals, which are potentially damaging by-products of the body's metabolism. Free radicals can cause cell damage that may contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
Deficiency of Vitamin E:
- There are three specific situations when a vitamin E deficiency is likely to occur. It is seen in persons who cannot absorb dietary fat, has been found in premature and very low birth weight infants.
- Vitamin E deficiency promotes increased lipid peroxidation, making cells more vulnerable to oxidative injury.
- Vitamin E deficiency is commonly occur in individuals with severe malnutrition, genetic defects affecting the alpha-tocopherol transfer protein, and fat malabsorption syndromes.
- Severe vitamin E deficiency results mainly in neurological symptoms, including impaired balance and coordination, injury to the sensory nerves, muscle weakness and damage to the retina of the eye .
Signs of vitamin E deficiency:
- weak muscles.
- fertility problems.
Sources of vitamin E:
The important sources of vitamin E are as:-
- The most common sources of vitamin E includesd: Nuts, sunflower seeds , seabuckthorn berries, and wheat germ are also good sources.
- Other sources of vitamin E are whole grains, fish, peanut butter, and green leafy vegetables.
- Fortified breakfast cereals are also an important source of vitamin E in the United States. Although originally extracted from wheat germ oil, most natural vitamin E supplements are now derived from vegetable oils, usually soybean oil.
- Vitamin E is found in margarine and vegetable oil (soybean, corn, safflower, and cottonseed), wheat germ, green leafy vegetables.
Functions of vitamin E
The important functions of vitamin E are as:-
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs, and they are believed to be one of the causes of the degenerative processes seen in aging .
- Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells and it helps the body to use vitamin K.