Vitamin E is not a single vitamin. It is the shared name of eight compounds, which are fat-soluble vitamins with antioxidant properties.
Antioxidants protect cells from damage by fighting off free radicals that can come from different things, such as direct sunlight, air pollution, tobacco smoke, and other external sources. Free radicals can cause cellular damage, including oxidative damage to the cell’s DNA, which in turn can lead to premature aging, heart disease, increased inflammation in the body, and increased risk of cancer.
Read on to know more about the great health benefits of vitamin E.
More About Vitamin E
The strong antioxidants properties of vitamin E help maintain healthy skin. It is no wonder why a lot of skin care products contain vitamin E. Since the 1950’s, it has been used in dermatology to protect skin against aging, inflammation, and sun damage.
Vitamin E has also been used by a lot of companies in creating hair care products, helping people achieve that soft, manageable, and shiny hair.
It also boosts the immune system. Its powerful antioxidants help the body fight off infections. There has been an increase in vitamin E supplements in recent years, but vitamin E can be naturally found in foods such as nuts, fish, cereals, meat, eggs, fruits, and vegetables. According to the American Heart Association, it is better to obtain vitamin E by eating rather than by taking supplements. Talk to your health care provider first before you take vitamin E supplements, just to be sure that it is safe and right for you.
Benefits of Vitamin E
1. Vitamin E on Skin
Vitamin E can be found in a lot of skin care products. It is available in cream and oil form for topical use. It is beneficial for mainly two reasons. First, its antioxidant properties can both fight inflammation and slow the effects of free radicals. Second, its moisturizing properties hydrate the skin. Here are different ways that our skin can benefit from vitamin E:
You may have used creams and lotions that contain vitamin E. It is usually incorporated in these products, because it helps a lot in preventing and treating dry and flaky skin.
Prevent signs of aging
Collagen is the skin’s support structure. Skin’s exposure to UV light and air pollution produces free radicals that damages collagen. Vitamin E fights aging by neutralizing the effects of free radicals. Protecting the skin easily depletes the amount of vitamin E stored in your body. One research found that even a small UV exposure, such as going in and out of the office, causes levels of vitamin E to drop by 50 percent. This is why it is very important to replenish it by eating foods that are rich in vitamin E.
Reduces sun damage
According to some research, vitamin E can prevent or reduce the formation of sunburns. Products that contain vitamin E can prevent UV-induced damage by fighting off free radicals that cause sunburn. Products such as vitamin E oil can moisturize and soothe dry skin, helping relieve the burning and itching caused by sunburn. Studies have shown that topical vitamin E can decrease DNA damage and reduce the redness and swelling of a burn. However, using sunscreen when going out and avoiding the strong rays of the sun are still the best ways to protect your skin.
In addition, since vitamin E can protect the skin from UV-induced damage, it may also help prevent skin cancer.
2. Vitamin E on Hair
Vitamin E is good for the skin, and that includes the skin on your head – your scalp. Research suggests that it can improve both scalp and hair health. Here are the benefits of using vitamin E on your hair and scalp:
With its moisturizing properties, vitamin E does a great job of locking moisture on the strands of your hair. It can eliminate dryness, making your hair strong and smooth. It is not a big surprise why we can easily find shampoos, conditioners, and other hair care products infused with vitamin E nowadays.
Prevents hair loss
Oxidative stress and free radicals cause the hair follicle cells in a person’s scalp to break down. However, the antioxidants in Vitamin E could assist in maintaining hair growth by negating their effects. In a study done with 38 participants who were experiencing hair loss, it was reported that one of the components of vitamin E did improve their hair growth.
According to the Academy of Dermatology, the hair loses its shine when the protective layer on the outside of the hair’s cuticle is removed. It also becomes difficult to manage or style. Vitamin E oil provides a layer of protection and replenishes the shine that the hair loses when it is damaged. Vitamin E oil can lock in moisture and reduce breakage. It gives hair protection from damage caused by chemicals, heat, or styling products.
3. Vitamin E on Health
There are also studies showing the benefits of Vitamin E on certain health conditions, such as:
- Vitamin E deficiency: It has been proven that taking vitamin E supplements helps people with vitamin E deficiency.
- Alzheimer’s disease: Vitamin E may help slow down the worsening of memory loss in people with moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease.
- Dementia: Research shows that men who consume vitamin E and vitamin C have a decreased risk of developing several forms dementia.
- Anemia: Some research suggests that taking vitamin E improves the response to the drug erythropoietin, which affects red blood cell production, in adults and children on hemodialysis.
- Dysmenorrhea: Taking vitamin E for 2 days before and for 3 days after bleeding begins seems to decrease pain severity and duration, and reduce menstrual blood loss.
An overdose of vitamin E can cause nausea, headache, bleeding, and fatigue. Follow the recommended dietary allowance or as prescribed by a health care professional.
If you are taking blood thinners or other medicines, do not take vitamin E supplements without talking to a doctor to avoid any health risks.
Vitamin E-Rich Food
Wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn, almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts, spinach, broccoli, avocados, shellfish, fresh salmon or trout, sweet red peppers, mangoes, olive oil, and soybean oils.