So what’s the scoop on Vitamin E?
I want to share some eye-opening information I discovered about this vitamin from my Food Revolution Network feed.
It’s one of the fat soluble vitamins (vitamins A,D, E, and K), which means the body handles it like it does fat, and stores what is not used. Other vitamins are water soluble, so the body excretes the excess. A build-up of high levels of fat soluble vitamins can be harmful, and I discovered it matters if we get the vitamin through food or supplements.
Benefits of Vitamin E?
As an anti-oxidant (body’s defense against free-radicals that cause cellular harm), Vitamin E supports the immune system, promotes eye health, brain health, and helps prevent some heart disease and cancers. Insufficient Vitamin E results in muscle weakness, numbness and tingling, immune system problems, coordination, and walking difficulty.
But does the research bear out its benefits? Some tests revealed that perhaps not so much, and even may be harmful in some instances. But before you throw out your latest veggie purchases, it seems Vitamin E in food is better than in supplements. Some tests using supplements showed no benefits, and in some cases, supplements contributed to heart disease and cancers, like prostate cancer. https://foodrevolution.org/blog/vitamin-e-benefits-risks/?utm_source=sfmc&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=blo-2022&utm_content=vitamin-e&j=109086&sfmc_sub=17735739&l=137_HTML&u=1465415&mid=514008241&jb=767
Food sources are beneficial. No one says we do not need this vitamin. Not only does Vitamin E in our food supply promote health, we don’t need to worry about excess build-up. Who is going to overdose on spinach?
Frankly, the information from the Food Revolution Network surprised me. I checked with my favorite health guru, Dr. Greger. The video failed to play anything except the final remarks that warned against Vitamin E supplements. Was it only supplements? Or was the concern about supplement dose? Just not enough information.
Next, I turned to my nutrition books by authors, Drs. William Li, Michael T. Murray, Neil Bernard, and Mark Hyman. If they mentioned Vitamin E at all, it was in passing remarks about food sources: wheat germ, sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, and pine nuts, avocados, sweet red peppers, mangoes, kiwi, turnip greens, spinach, and broccoli.
Here’s a link to more information about Vitamin E from the National Institute of Health fact sheet. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
Check with your doctor
Some medical conditions, such as Chron’s disease or cystic fibrosis, may require monitoring of Vitamin E levels to be sure there is no deficiency. Personally, I’m going to continue to eat my veggies, fruits, and nuts, and trust I’m getting the Vitamin E I need. (But then, if you follow this blog, you know I choose food sources over chemicals any day.) I would avoid supplements unless recommended by my doctor or nutritionist. And hopefully, my doctor took a few nutrition courses!
During my last visit to my cardiologist, he asked me if I was supplementing Vitamin E. I told him no and that I stopped taking it years ago. This pleased him (there are times I am so codependent…). He stated just what you wrote. The supplements are of dubious benefit and may actually be harmful.
Nicely written, evidence based blog.
Thank you, Eric!