Function of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E is essential for it's antioxidant properties.  Antioxidants are nutrients that
provide some protection against various health conditions such as heart disease,
arthritis, and cancer.  Like other antioxidants, vitamin E blocks some of the damage
that is caused by free radicals.  Free radicals are by-products that occur when our
bodies transform food into energy.  Antioxidants also help to reduce damage to the
body that is caused by toxic chemicals and pollutants such as cigarette smoke.  
Cosmetic manufactures commonly add vitamin E to skin creams and lotions, because
they believe that it plays a role in encouraging skin healing and reducing scarring after
injuries such as burns.


Deficiency of Vitamin E:
Vitamin E deficiency is common in people who are unable to absorb fat properly.   
Some conditions that inhibit proper fat absorption include, pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis,
and biliary diseases (illnesses of the gallbladder and biliary ducts).  

Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include loss of muscle mass, muscle weakness,
abnormal eye movements, impaired balance and coordination, unsteady gait, and
impaired vision.  

Note: A variety of medical conditions can lead to the symptoms mentioned above.  Therefore, it is
important to have a physician evaluate them so that appropriate medical care can be given.


Toxicity (Vitamin E Overdose):
Most studies of toxicity or side effects regarding high doses of vitamin E
supplementation have not been adequately studied.  There is concern for individuals
who have impaired blood clotting, because vitamin E supplementation can increase
the likelihood of hemorrhage.  Some physicians recommend that high doses of
vitamin E supplements should be discontinued one month before elective surgery in
order to decrease the risk of hemorrhage.


Caution: Eating natural foods that are high in vitamin E is the safest and healthiest
way to get an adequate supply of the nutrient.  Due to risk of toxicity, individuals
should always consult with a knowledgeable health care provider before starting
doses of supplements.  Before giving supplements to children, it is recommended that
you first consult with their pediatrician.  Also, some supplements may interfere with
medications.  If you are taking medication, it is recommended that you consult with
your physician before taking any supplements.  All supplements should be kept in
childproof bottles and out of children's reach.


Vitamin E Food Chart (List of Foods High in Vitamin E):

*Alpha-tocopherol and Gamma-tocopherol*
Almonds 1 ounce - (Alpha 7.4 mg) (Gamma 0.2 mg)
Sunflower oil 1 tablespoon - (Alpha 5.6 mg) (Gamma 0.7 mg)
Safflower oil 1 tablespoon - (Alpha 4.6 mg) (Gamma 0.1 mg)
Hazelnuts 1 ounce - (Alpha 4.3 mg) (Gamma 0 mg)
Avocado,California, 1 fruit - (Alpha 2.7 mg) (Gamma 0.4 mg)
Canola oil 1 tablespoon - (Alpha 2.4 mg) (Gamma 3.8 mg)
Peanuts 1 ounce - (Alpha 2.4 mg) (Gamma 2.4 mg)
Olive oil 1 tablespoon - (Alpha 1.9 mg) (Gamma 0.1 mg)  
Corn oil 1 tablespoon - (Alpha 1.9 mg) (Gamma 8.2 mg)
Soybean oil 1 tablespoon - (Alpha 1.1 mg) (Gamma 8.7 mg)
Carrots, raw, chopped, ½ cup - (Alpha 0.4 mg) (Gamma 0 mg)  
Spinach, raw, ½ cup - (Alpha 0.3 mg) (Gamma 0 mg)
 



Sources:

American Dietetic Association: Complete Food And Nutrition Guide (2nd Edition)
Roberta Larson Duyff, MS, RD, FADA, CFCS

Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs and More
Pamela Wartian Smith, MD, MPH

University of Maryland Medical Center - umm.edu

Linus Pauling Institute - oregonstate.edu

Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
Eating foods that are high in
vitamin E can help prevent
conditions such as cardiovascular
disease, cataracts, impaired
immune function, and cancer.  
Foods high in vitamin E include:
olive oil, canola oil, almonds,
peanuts, hazelnuts, avocados,
spinach, and carrots.


What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E, also known as
Tocopherol, is a fat-soluble
vitamin and also an antioxidant.
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These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The content on
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