Vitamin E supplements play an essential role in protecting the membrane of all cells in the body. It is antioxidant, that is, it contributes to the neutralization of free radicals in the body. Also, it prevents or reduces the oxidation of low-density lipoproteins (LDL). This oxidation of LDL is associated with the development of atherosclerosis and therefore cardiovascular disease. Vitamin E also has anti-inflammatory, antiplatelet and vasodilating properties. These effects, which are not related to its antioxidant activity, also play a cardio-protective role.
Some practitioners recommend using supplements that come in a natural form (like Adrenal Support (Vegan) (4 Pack) –) exclusively rather than taking 1 1/2 dose of synthetic supplements. The Other Names section, at the beginning of this listing, allows you to check the list of ingredients on the packaging and to distinguish natural-source supplements from those containing synthetic tocopherols.
How deadly is vitamin E deficiency and how important is vitamin E supplements?
The risk of severe vitamin E deficiency is very low in developed countries. It is usually linked to diseases that cause fat absorption disorders (e.g., cystic fibrosis, celiac disease and Crohn’s disease). It is especially in the long term that the symptoms of deficiency manifest themselves, usually by neurological problems due to poor nerve conduction.
On the other hand, the recommended nutritional intake (NRA) of vitamin E, which is set at 15 mg of alpha-tocopherol (the natural form) per day, would not be fully met by the Diet of the average Brit. According to the results of a survey conducted in the United Kingdom between 2001 and 2002, Brits would benefit from consuming significantly more vitamin E-rich seeds and nuts, such as almonds or sunflower seeds8, if they want to reach the daily recommended intake. This advice probably applies to Europeans, whose diet is similar to that of their neighbours.
Also, according to the U.K. authorities, people who follow a low-fat diet should choose their foods, including their fats, carefully to ensure adequate vitamin E intake.
Vitamin E supplements against certain diseases for seniors
Alzheimer’s disease and prevention of cognitive decline: Epidemiological data are contradictory as to the preventive effect of vitamin E on Alzheimer’s disease. The same is true from clinical trials. However, any research is not abandoned and the explanation of these contradictions may be to be found on the side of the type of vitamin E used.
Certain efficacy against Parkinson’s disease: Large epidemiological studies have found a correlation between a diet rich in vitamin E and a reduced risk of Parkinson’s disease. However, this relationship was only linked with vitamin E supplements. Besides, a study of 800 volunteers with an early stage of the disease showed that taking 2,000 IU of vitamin E per day for 8 years had a good effect against the progression of the disease (Visit the “Body by nature” online store today).
Uncertain efficiency against Macular degeneration: In a study published in 2001, 3,640 subjects aged 55 to 80 were followed for 6 years. In those with a moderate or advanced form of macular degeneration (category 3 and 4), taking a cocktail providing 500 mg of vitamin C, 400 IU of vitamin E, 15 mg of beta-carotene and 80 mg of zinc oxide reduced the progression of the disease by about 25%. However, this trial does not conclude that vitamin E supplements are of specific effectiveness. Especially since the overall results of several clinical trials point to a lack of effect of vitamin E with regard to the prevention of this eye disorder.
For diabetes complications, vitamin E may have a preventive effect on cardiovascular disease in a particular group of type 2 diabetics (see early signs and symptoms of diabetes), but it may be ineffective in all other cases.
Uncertain efficiency Arthritis: Currently, clinical trials do not conclude that vitamin E intake is effective in reducing the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis. A large study of 39,000 women aged 45 and over even showed that taking a supplement of 600 IU of vitamin E every 2 days for 10 years had no effect.