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Vitamin E is key for strong immunity and healthy skin and eyes. In recent years, vitamin
E supplements have become popular as antioxidants. These are substances that
protect cells from damage. However, the risks and benefits of taking vitamin E
supplements are still unclear.
Vitamin E is the generic name for “tocopherol” and is available in four different
forms. It is a fat soluble antioxidant, which can be obtained only as a food
supplement. The most widely known health benefits of vitamin E are protection
against toxins such as air pollution, premenstrual syndrome, eye disorders such as
cataracts, neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, and diabetes.
VITAMIN E OVERVIEW INFORMATION
How much vitamin E should you take?
The recommended dietary allowance (RDA) includes the vitamin E you get from both the food you eat and any
supplements you take.
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol):
Recommended Dietary Allowance
in milligrams (mg) and International
6 mg/day (9 IU)
7 mg/day (10.4 IU)
11 mg/day (16.4 IU)
14 years and up
15 mg/day (22.4 IU)
15 mg/day (22.4 IU)
19 mg/day (28.5 IU)
14 years and up
15 mg/day (22.4 IU)
The tolerable upper intake levels of a supplement are the highest amount that most people can take safely. Higher
doses might be used to treat vitamin E deficiencies. But you should never take more unless a doctor says so.
Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) of
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)
(Children & Adults)
in milligrams (mg) and International Units (IU)
200 mg/day (300 IU)
300 mg/day (450 IU)
600 mg/day (900 IU)
800 mg/day (1,200 IU)
19 years and up
1,000 mg/day (1,500 IU)
Because vitamin E is fat-soluble, supplements are best absorbed with food.
Vitamin E is a vitamin that dissolves in fat. It is found in many foods including vegetable
oils, cereals, meat, poultry, eggs, fruits, vegetables, and wheat germ oil. It is also
available as a supplement.
Vitamin E is used for treating vitamin E deficiency, which is rare, but can occur in people
with certain genetic disorders and in very low-weight premature infants.
Some people use vitamin E for treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood
vessels including hardening of the arteries, heart attack, chest pain, leg pain due to
blocked arteries, and high blood pressure.
Vitamin E is also used for treating diabetes and its complications. It is used for
preventing cancer, particularly lung and oral cancer in smokers; colorectal cancer and
polyps; and gastric, prostate, and pancreatic cancer.
Some people use vitamin E for diseases of the brain and nervous
system includingAlzheimer’s disease and other dementias, Parkinson’s disease, night
cramps, restless leg syndrome, and for epilepsy, along with other medications. Vitamin
E is also used for Huntington’s chorea, and other disorders involving nerves and
Women use vitamin E for preventing complications in late pregnancy due to high blood
pressure (pre-eclampsia), premenstrual syndrome (PMS), painful periods, menopausal
syndrome, hot flashes associated with breast cancer, and breast cysts.
Sometimes vitamin E is used to lessen the harmful effects of medical treatments such
as dialysis and radiation. It is also used to reduce unwanted side effects of drugs such
as hair loss in people taking doxorubicin and lung damage in people takingamiodarone.
Vitamin E is sometimes used for improving physical endurance, increasing energy,
reducing muscle damage after exercise, and improving muscle strength.
Vitamin E is also used for cataracts, asthma, respiratory infections, skin disorders, aging
skin, sunburns, cystic fibrosis, infertility, impotence, chronic fatigue syndrome
(CFS), peptic ulcers, for certain inherited diseases and to prevent allergies.
Some people apply vitamin E to their skin to keep it from aging and to protect against the skin
effects of chemicals used for cancer therapy (chemotherapy).
The American Heart Association recommends obtaining antioxidants, including vitamin E, by
eating a well-balanced diet high in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains rather than
from supplements until more is known about the risks and benefits of taking supplements.
How does it work?
Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body. It
is also an antioxidant. This means it helps to slow down processes that damage cells.
Vitamin E is a group of 8 fat-soluble vitamins which help prevent oxidative stress to the
body, and other vitamins within the body. Adequate amounts of vitamin E can help
protect against heart disease, cancer, and age related eye damage (macular
degeneration). Conversely, too much vitamin E from supplements can lead to excessive
bleeding, or hemorrhaging. Vitamin E foods, like the ones listed below, are considered
to be safe and healthy. The current DV for vitamin E is 20mg.
Below is a list of foods high in vitamin E by common serving size.
Remember eating sunflower seeds as a kid? Now is a good time to start enjoying these
flavorful seeds again, because they’re full of essential vitamins and minerals that your body
depends on. Half a cup of sunflower seeds provides just over the daily recommended value
of Vitamin E for the average adult. Serving Size (1 cup), 46.52 milligrams of Vitamin E (225%
DV), 818 calories
Fresh, juicy tomatoes have a memorable taste and smell, but what’s even more impressive
is the rich nutrients in each of these flavorful fruits. Slice up a tomato and add it to your
scrambled eggs, salad, pizza, pasta, soup, sandwich, or whatever else you’re in the mood
for. Doing so will reward your body with Vitamins E, A, C, and K, as well as fiber and
lycopene.Serving Size (1 medium), 0.66 milligrams of Vitamin E (3% DV), 22 calories
The colorful and tropical mango is a nutritional powerhouse. It’s loaded with antioxidants,
vitamins, and minerals, including Vitamin E. The average mango contains about 2.32
milligrams, or enough to reach 11% of the recommended daily value. Mangos are also a
good source of Vitamin C, Vitamin A, copper, and potassium. Serving Size (1 mango), 2.32
milligrams of Vitamin E (11% DV), 135 calories
A 100-gram serving of butternut squash provides 6% of the daily recommended value of
Vitamin E for the average adult. You can enjoy butternut squash in many ways: steamed,
roasted, baked, or even microwaved. Regardless of how you prepare it, butternut squash
provides you with essential Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. Serving Size (100
grams), 1.29 milligrams of Vitamin E (6% DV), 40 calories
Chili powder packs and punch, and not just in flavor. Just one tablespoon of this feisty spice
contains 1.49mg of Vitamin E, contributing 7% toward the recommended amount for the
day. Its impressive Vitamin E contents helps your skin stay fresh and healthy, but other
vitamins and minerals contribute to several additional aspects of your health. Serving Size (1
tablespoon), 1.49 milligrams of Vitamin E (7% DV), 16 calories
A handful of almonds makes a quick and healthy snack when you need an energy boost
during your day. One cup of almonds, though high in calories, provides almost twice the
necessary amount of Vitamin E for the day. If you’re not a fan of raw whole almonds, you
can also get some of the benefits in almond milk or almond butter. Serving Size (1 cup), 37.49
milligrams of Vitamin E (181% DV), 882 calories
The sweet and healthful kiwi is rich in vitamins and minerals. It provides a moderate amount
of Vitamin E—1.11mg per fruit—and it’s also a good source of Vitamin C, potassium, and
fiber. And at only about 46 calories per fruit, kiwi makes an excellent addition to a healthy
and balanced diet. Serving Size (1 kiwi), 1.11 milligrams of Vitamin E (5% DV), 46 calories
When you’re in a hurry or you just want something easy, dried fruit is a great snack option
because it’s healthy and hassle-free. One cup of dried apricot halves provides 5.63mg of
Vitamin E, or 27% of the recommended daily value. If you have yet to try them, enjoy dried
apricots as a midday snack or as a sweet but healthy dessert option. Serving Size (1 cup),
5.63 milligrams of Vitamin E (27% DV), 313 calories
Spinach is almost always at the top of the list when it comes to the best health foods. Each
dark green leaf is home to several essential vitamins and minerals including Vitamin E. A
half-cup serving of cooked spinach provides 16% of the daily value. Spinach can also be
eaten raw, often in salads, but cooking or steaming the spinach prior to eating it can
increase the amount of several of its nutrients. Serving Size (1/2 cup), 3.36 milligrams of
Vitamin E (16% DV), 32 calories
Dried basil contains a number of nutrients, including Vitamin C, calcium, iron, phosphorus,
Vitamin K, B vitamins, and Vitamin E. It also has trace amounts of other micronutrients,
making it a well-rounded food to include in your diet. Add just one tablespoon of this
flavorful herb to your meals each day in order to enjoy the many health benefits. Serving
Size (1 tablespoon), 0.15 milligrams of Vitamin E (1% DV), 5 calories
Nuts and seeds are known for their strong Vitamin E contents, and they’re an excellent food
category to add to your diet for many health reasons. Hazelnuts, in particular, contain 4.28
milligrams of Vitamin E per ounce, or 21% of the daily recommended value for the average
adult. They also contain protein, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. Serving Size (1 ounce), 4.28
milligrams of Vitamin E (21% DV), 181 calories
You probably recognize dried oregano from your favorite pizza or pasta dishes. It’s a
popular herb used in Italian cooking, but it’s much more versatile than that. It’s also a great
source of essential vitamins and minerals, including (but not limited to) Vitamin E. Try
incorporating more dried oregano into your meals, especially if your diet might be lacking in
Vitamin E.Serving Size (1 teaspoon), 0.19 milligrams of Vitamin E (1% DV), 3 calories
If you need more Vitamin E in your diet, try eating more mustard greens. One cup of
chopped greens contains 1.13mg of essential Vitamin E, along with many other nutrients. In
fact, mustard greens are a great food to enjoy more of, regardless of what sort of nutrients
your diet may be lacking. Mustard greens are a great source of several essential vitamins
and minerals, but they won’t weigh you down in calories. Serving Size (1 cup), 1.13
milligrams of Vitamin E (5% DV), 15 calories
Like many vegetables, broccoli is a good source of Vitamin E. A serving size of one cup of
chopped raw broccoli contains 2.43mg of Vitamin E. Add some broccoli to your soup or
salad, or cook it as a side dish at dinner in order to enjoy its many nutritional
benefits.Serving Size (1 cup), 2.43 milligrams of Vitamin E (12% DV), 52 calories
Most vegetable oils should generally be avoided and replaced with healthier alternatives,
but when you need more Vitamin E, there may be a place for canola oil in an otherwise
healthy and balanced diet. One tablespoon of canola oil contains 2.44mg of Vitamin E, or
12% of the daily value. Serving Size (1 tablespoon), 2.44 milligrams of Vitamin E (12% DV),
Pumpkin seeds are generally known for two things: carving pumpkins, and Vitamin E. Once
you’ve finished carving your Halloween pumpkin and have cleaned the gunk from the seeds
(or you’ve simply gone out and purchased a pack of pumpkin seeds from the grocery store),
you can cook and eat the seeds for their Vitamin E and several other healthful
components.Serving Size (1/4 cup), 46.52 milligrams of Vitamin E (225% DV), 818 calories
Add a 100-gram serving of kale (just under one cup) to your diet and you’ll enjoy the
benefits of 0.85mg of Vitamin E, or 6% of the daily recommended value. Kale, like other
dark leafy greens in the same family, is also a great source of several other essential
vitamins and minerals. Serving Size (100 grams), 0.85 milligrams of Vitamin E (6% DV), 50
Pistachios, like many other nuts and seeds, are an excellent source of Vitamin E. One cup
of pistachio nuts contains 2.37mg of Vitamin E, which is 11% of the recommended daily
value for most adults. Also like other nuts and seeds, though, they’re high in calories, so