Vitamin E, also called tocopherol, is a fat-soluble vitamin essential for the proper functioning of the body. Anti-oxidant, it also helps protect the cardiovascular and nervous systems and promote fertility. It is mainly found in vegetable oils.
Characteristics of vitamin E:
- Fat-soluble vitamin-like vitamins A, D, and K
- Helps fight against oxidative stress and cellular aging
- Vegetable oils and oilseeds are rich in it
- Acts synergistically with vitamin C, selenium, and zinc
- Formerly known as factor X
Vitamin E: benefits and roles in the body
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, it acts in synergy with other molecules such as vitamin C, selenium, or zinc. A good supply of vitamin E thus makes it possible to neutralize the excess of free radicals and to fight against oxidative stress and premature cellular aging. Antioxidants also protect the body from various pathological processes: inflammation, cancer, etc.
Prevention of cardiovascular disease
Tocopherol constitutes and preserves membrane lipids. It has a protective effect on the cardiovascular system. In addition, its anti-inflammatory effect limits the process of atherosclerosis, a risk factor for cardiovascular accidents. Sufficient consumption of vitamin E could, as such, reduce mortality from cardiovascular accidents.
Protection against AMD and neurodegenerative diseases
By combating oxidative stress, vitamin E could have promising effects on cognitive functions and visual acuity. As such, studies are still underway but seem to highlight the positive effect of this vitamin on various conditions such as age-related macular degeneration (AMD), cataracts, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
Vitamin E and skin
A good intake of vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin. This fat-soluble vitamin enters into the constitution of cell membranes and confers elasticity and plasticity to the skin. In addition, its antioxidant action helps fight against skin aging.
Foods rich in vitamin E
Vitamin E is found predominantly in vegetable oils and oilseeds. To ensure a good daily intake of vitamin E, it is strongly recommended to vary vegetable oils and consume them with each meal.
|Wheat germ oil||15 ml (1.5 tbsp.)||21 mg|
|Almonds, unbleached, dry roasted or in oil, or dehydrated||60 ml (1/4 cup)||9-18 mg|
|Dry roasted sunflower seeds||60 ml (1/4 cup)||8 mg|
|Hazelnuts, unbleached filberts, dry roasted||60 ml (1/4 cup)||5-8 mg|
|Sunflower oil||15 ml (1.5 tbsp.)||6 mg|
|Safflower oil||15 ml (1.5 tbsp.)||5 mg|
|Breakfast cereals, 100% bran (All-Bran type)||30 g||3-5 mg|
|Pine nuts||60 ml (1/4 cup)||3 mg|
|Roasted peanuts in oil||60 ml (1/4 cup)||2-3 mg|
|Canned tomato paste||60 ml (1/4 cup)||3 mg|
|Canned tomato puree||125 ml (1/2 cup)||3 mg|
|Dried Brazil nuts||60 ml (1/4 cup)||2 mg|
|Mixed nuts, oil or dry roasted||60 ml (1/4 cup)||2 mg|
|Fish eggs, various species||30 ml (3 tbsp.)||2 mg|
|Corn or wheat bran, raw||30 g||2 mg|
|Peanut, olive, rapeseed or corn oil||15 ml (1.5 tbsp.)||2 mg|
|Lawyer||½ avocado (100 g)||2 mg|
|Canned sardines, with bones||100 g||2 mg|
|Asparagus, boiled or raw||125 ml (1/2 cup)||1-2 mg|
|Boiled spinach||125 ml (1/2 cup)||1-2 mg|
How to properly use natural vitamin E?
Vitamin E requirements
|Recommended nutritional intake (ANC)|
|Babies 0-6 months||4 mg *|
|Babies 7-12 months||5 mg *|
|Infants 1-3 years||6 mg|
|Children 4-8 years old||7 mg|
|Boys 9-13 years old||11 mg|
|Girls 9-13 years||11 mg|
|Boys 14-18 years old||15.5 mg|
|Girls 14-18 years old||10 mg|
|Men 19-75 years old||15.5 mg|
|Women 19-75 years old||10 mg|
|Men 75 years and over||20 to 50 mg|
|Women 75 years and over||20 to 50 mg|
|Pregnant women||12 mg|
|Breastfeeding women||12 mg|
* Sufficient intake
Food supplements based on tocopherol
Vitamin E-based food supplements are often indicated for their antioxidant power, which helps fight oxidative stress and promotes optimal health. The dosage varies according to the problem and the context. The excess of vitamin E is not without consequences, it is recommended to seek medical advice.
Adverse effects of tocopherol
Consequences of vitamin E deficiency
Although extremely rare in France, vitamin E deficiency can affect the nervous system and muscles and cause coordination problems. It can also be the cause of hemolytic anemia in young children.
Consequences of excess vitamin E
Since vitamin E is fat-soluble, the body can store it in adipose tissue. Because of this, overdose is quite possible. The main risk associated with long-term excess vitamin E is bleeding. The competent authorities recommend not to exceed the consumption of 62 mg of vitamin E per day in adults.
Interactions with other nutrients
In the body, vitamin E acts in synergy with vitamin C, selenium, or even zinc to provide an optimal antioxidant effect.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin composed of eight molecules, four tocopherols, and four tocotrienols. It acts in synergy with other antioxidant molecules and helps neutralize free radicals in the body. In the food industry, vitamin E is also used as a food additive (E306) for its antioxidant properties.
History of the nutrient
Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by two researchers in California. By putting a group of female mice on a low-fat diet, they discovered that the mice could get pregnant but the fetuses were unable to develop. Vitamin E was first named factor X and recognized as essential for fetal development.