Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin found in most vegetable oils, nuts and oilseeds, whole grains and green leafy vegetables
. Although there are two classes of Vitamin E – Tocopherols and Tocotrienols each comprising of 4 sub-types- alpha, gamma, beta and delta the body utilizes only alpha-tocopherol. Supplementation of alpha-tocopherol can reverse symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency such as muscle weakness, leg cramps, gastrointestinal disorders and anemia.
Vitamin E deficiency is quite rare since it is present in almost all the foods. However, Vitamin E deficiency may occur in people with reduced fat absorption due to any surgery, genetic disorders, very low-fat diets and malnutrition. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends 22 IU of Vitamin E per day for both men and women.
- Anti-aging Properties: Vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant counteracts the harmful effects caused by free radicals particularly aging. Vitamin E protects the fibroblasts; skin cells that produce collagen. Collagen is essential for maintaining healthy, firm and younger looking skin. Thus, Vitamin E helps in reducing sun-induced wrinkles and premature aging.
- Fights Acne and Wrinkles:Intake of Vitamin E rich foods helps maintain the hormonal balance in adolescents, which can otherwise trigger the formation of acne. The anti-inflammatory properties of Vitamin E work as an excellent exfoliator and help remove acne scars.
- Soothes Sunburn:Exposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays produces free radicals. Topical application of Vitamin E enriched oils or lotions provides an effective remedy for treating sunburn peeling and blistering due to its antioxidant and moisturizing properties. In fact, the Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a moisturizer or gel containing Vitamin E after a sunburn to alleviate skin damage. The antioxidant properties of Vitamin E can reverse the damage caused by UV rays.
- Fades Scars and Stretch Marks:Vitamin E minimizes scarring and stretch marks since it promotes healthy cell regeneration and moisturizes the skin. Topical application of Vitamin E oil promotes healing of damaged skin cells as well as reducing redness and inflammation and fades away all types of scars by promoting tissue repair.
- Treats Hyperpigmentation: Hyperpigmentation is the appearance of dark or discolored spots on the skin due to an improper production of melanin in the body. Vitamin E aids in the absorption of Vitamin A found in the form of retinoids in skin lightening products, which plays a vital role in lightening the skin tone. Without Vitamin E, Vitamin A cannot be absorbed by the skin. Vitamin E rejuvenates the skin and gives it a healthy glow.
- Softens Dry Hands and Skin:The natural moisturizing properties of Vitamin E help retain moisture by forming a protective layer over the skin and keep the skin soft and supple by preventing cracking of the skin. For softening dry hands, mix the juice of one lemon and a teaspoon of honey with lukewarm water in a bowl. Add 2 Vitamin E capsules and soak your hands for 10-15 minutes.
Vitamin E for Hair
- Promotes Hair Growth:Vitamin E helps maintain the integrity of cellular membranes of hair follicles. By inducing capillary growth Vitamin E increases blood flow, oxygen supply and nutrients towards the scalp which helps in strengthening the hair follicles. It moisturizes and hydrates dry, brittle hair. Massaging the scalp with Vitamin E oil along with olive oil, aloe vera gel or coconut cream strengthens the hair roots and promotes hair growth.
- Prevents Premature Graying of Hair:Genetics, stress, nutrient deficiencies are some of the factors that contribute towards premature graying of hair. Free radicals accelerate the aging process and can contribute to premature graying of hair. The strong antioxidant potential of Vitamin E combats the premature graying of hair.
Vitamin E and Eye Health
- Lowers Risk of Cataracts: The powerful antioxidant properties of Vitamin E protect the eyes from free radicals damage, thus lowering the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). The Age-Related Eye Disease Study funded by the National Eye Institute, demonstrated that a 400 IU/day intake of vitamin E along with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and zinc supplementation, slows the progression of AMD by about 25 percent in individuals at a high risk.