Vitamins For Dummies
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Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin essential to a healthy diet. This important antioxidant nutrient protects cells and tissues from damage by free radicals generated by chemicals and oxidized fats.

Vitamin E is best taken with vitamin C. The two form a team, and vitamin C can actually “reactivate” vitamin E, allowing it to keep on working to deactivate free radicals. Vitamin E is one of the best-researched and most widely accepted supplements in the medical community.

Free radicals are unstable molecules with extra “free” electrons looking for a connection. They can latch onto a cell membrane or blood vessel lining and create constant inflammation, leading to eventual damage. Antioxidants neutralize these electrons by actively binding with them, reducing their damaging effects.

Oxidized fats are fats that are adversely changed by aging, interaction with oxygen, and damage by free radicals. Consumption of oxidized or rancid fats is known to promote cancer and heart disease.

Check out these key uses of vitamin E:

  • Practitioners have long prescribed vitamin E to support and protect the sexual and reproductive organs, but research doesn’t prove this theory. Vitamin E is sometimes referred to as the virility vitamin or antisterility vitamin.

  • Used particularly for its antioxidant function in preventing degenerative diseases of the cardiovascular and neurological and respiratory systems. Vitamin E may also be an important protector against cancer.

Vitamin E is a natural preservative found in vegetable oils, nuts, seeds, dark green leafy vegetables, and whole grains. Common levels of intake are 200 to 1,600 IU, with usual amounts about 400 to 800 IU.

Toxicity is very uncommon, while deficiency makes you more susceptible to free radical damage from environmental and food chemical exposure. Vitamin E protects the tissues of your blood vessel linings and your sexual glands from damage by chemicals from the many pesticides, food chemicals, and inhaled toxins that you are exposed to.

Tocopherols [ta-COH-fer-alls] are the natural protective chemicals that actually make up vitamin E. Make sure to choose vitamin E supplements that include mixed tocopherols, which are rich in a substance called gamma-tocopherol, rather than just alpha- or another single tocopherol. Recent research shows that this more natural form of vitamin E works much better in your body than do the less expensive synthetic versions.

About This Article

This article is from the book:

About the book authors:

Christopher Hobbs, L.Ac., is an holistic health expert whose many books include Herbal Remedies For Dummies??. Elson Haas, M.D., is the author of Staying Healthy with the Seasons and The Detox Diet.

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