Vitamin E is a lesser-known vitamin compared to A, B, C or D, but it’s an essential nutrient nonetheless. Your body needs Vitamin E to survive—it’s a free radical fighter that prevents oxidative stress from harming cells throughout the body.
But how much do you really know about Vitamin E? If you’re wondering whether you’re getting enough (or too much) Vitamin E, as well as how you can boost your daily intake, it pays to do a little research. Here are some myths and facts about this powerful antioxidant.
Myth: the higher the dose, the better
Think that since small amounts of vitamins are good, large intakes must be better? This isn’t always the case, especially with fat-soluble vitamins like Vitamin E. The body stores reserves of fat-soluble vitamins, rather than excreting them. As a result, they build up over time. Too much of any fat-soluble nutrient can result in vitamin toxicity, which can be dangerous. Following the rule “less is more” is wise when it comes to Vitamin E intake.
Fact: dosage is person dependent
The amount of any nutrient you need is entirely dependent on your body. While most healthy adults need around 15mg of Vitamin E each day, most people don’t reach that goal from dietary sources alone. It can also be difficult for people with certain medical conditions to achieve their recommended daily Vitamin E intake, which makes supplementing safe and effective when a doctor approves it.
Myth: all vitamins are the same
Many people mistakenly believe that any vitamin they find on store shelves is just as good as any other. While there are plenty of options for every vitamin on the market, they’re not all created equal. High-quality supplements give your body the most benefits, giving you the best bang for your buck. This is especially true for Vitamin E. Naturally-derived sources are better, as opposed synthetics packed with fillers.
Fact: organic derivatives are best
All-natural, organic vitamins are the best supplements you can buy. In the case of Vitamin E, organic supplements are more readily absorbed by your body than synthetic forms. If you want the most antioxidant-fighting properties from your Vitamin E supplement, going all-natural is the best answer.
Myth: everyone needs a Vitamin E supplement
Although most people don’t get enough Vitamin E from diet alone, it’s not always wise to supplement. People who are severely deficient in Vitamin E due to medical deficiencies are the best candidates for supplementing, but people looking to boost their Vitamin E intake without increasing their intake of fat could also benefit from a Vitamin E supplement. Of course, always get a doctor’s approval before supplementing.
Fact: diet first, supplement when needed
The best sources of all essential nutrients, including Vitamin E, are whole foods. Vitamin E is found in large amounts in fatty foods like pressed oils (wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, almond and hazelnut oils), nuts and fish. It’s also found in moderate amounts in fruits like mango and avocado, as well as leafy greens including turnip greens, beet greens and Swiss chard. While supplementing can be safe and effective (with a doctor’s approval), getting Vitamin E from dietary sources is your best option.
Myth: Vitamin E can cure disease
Vitamin E alone can’t cure diseases like cancer, diabetes or heart disease. While the nutrient is linked to lower instances of these diseases, it does not prevent them entirely. Instead, scientists are studying Vitamin E and other antioxidants as inflammation fighters. Inflammation is the root of all disease, and learning how to control it could yield beneficial results in mitigating the risk or severity of many diseases. Research is ongoing.
Fact: Vitamin E can fight against oxidative stress
While Vitamin E can’t cure diseases, it can play a role in preventing them. Vitamin E is a free radical fighter that prevents oxidative stress from harming cells throughout the body. When the body detects the presence of free radicals, it releases Vitamin E to neutralize them before they can do damage to healthy cells throughout the body. By preventing premature cellular death, Vitamin E can play a part in preventing serious diseases.
The right way to supplement with Vitamin E
If you’re interested in boosting your daily intake of Vitamin E, eating more Vitamin E-rich foods can help. Unfortunately, most people simply don’t get enough Vitamin E from food sources alone, which makes supplementing a convenient, effective option. It’s also a safe one, as long as you get a doctor’s approval.
Talk to your doctor today to determine whether a Vitamin E supplement is right for you. If you receive approval, look for an organic Vitamin E supplement that gives your body the best chance for absorption.