Sources of Vitamin E

 Kiwi fruit is an excellent source of vitamin E.

There are many excellent food sources of vitamin E.

Best Sources of Vitamin E

  • Vegetable oils
  • Nuts
  • Margarines
  • Meats
  • Poultry
  • Eggs
  • Legumes
  • Bell peppers
  • Olives
  • Tomatoes
  • Kale
  • Papaya
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Kiwi fruit
  • Olive oil
  • Corn oil
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Mustard greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Spinach
  • Chard
  • Fortified cereals

Preparing Foods to Retain Vitamin E

During preparation, vitamin E is often lost. In order to retain vitamin E in foods, use whole grain flours and store foods in containers that are airtight. Also avoid exposing the food to light.

Benefits of Foods High in Vitamin E

  • Prevents cell damage from free radicals.
  • Allows cells to effectively communicate with each other.
  • Helps protect the body against Alzheimer's disease and prostate cancer.
  • Protects skin from ultraviolent light.

Signs You May Need More Vitamin E

  • Problems with the liver or gallbladder.
  • Loss of sensation or tingling in the hands, arms, legs, or feet.
  • Muscle weakness or poor coordination.
  • Problems with the digestive system.
    • Especially malabsorption.

Factors Contributing to Vitamin E Deficiency

Poor absorption of fat in the digestive tract (malabsorption) can potentially contribute to a vitamin E deficiency. Premature birth can also contribute to an increase risk of vitamin E deficiency in newborn infants. Some specific preconditions which may contribute to malabsorption include celiac disease, gallbladder disease, and pancreatic disease.

Interactions with Dietary Supplements and Herbs

  • Mineral oil can potentially reduce the dietary absorption of vitamin E.
  • An increased dietary intake of omega-6 fatty acids may increase the body's requirements for vitamin E.
    • This is especially the case with very high doses of omega-6 fatty acids.
  • High doses of oral or injected vitamin E may possibly increase the risk of bleeding.
    • This includes the potential for bleeding into the brain, also known as a hemorrhagic stroke.
    • Extreme caution is advised to all patients who have a medical history of disorders related to bleeding. These patients may possibly also be at an increased risk for bleeding.
  • A deficiency of zinc may decrease the blood levels of vitamin E.
  • Large doses of vitamin E may possibly deplete the amount of vitamin A stored in the body.
    • Vitamin E is directly involved in the storage, absorption, and usage of vitamin A in the body.
      • Vitamin E toxicity can be avoided when vitamin E is taken in conjunction with an adequate intake of vitamin A.
    • Studies indicate that high doses of vitamin E tend to increase the vitamin K requirements for the body.
    • This can cause clotting abnormalities in any patients who have a history of vitamin K deficiency.

Interactions with Prescription Drugs

  • Cholestyramine (Questran ) can reduce blood levels and dietary absorption of vitamin E.
  • Colestipol (Colestid) can reduce blood levels and dietary absorption of vitamin E.
  • Isoniazid (INH, Lanizid, Nydrazid) may potentially reduce the dietary absorption of vitamin E.
  • Orlistat (Xenical) may potentially reduce the dietary absorption of vitamin E.
  • Gemfibrozil (Lopid) may lower serum levels of both alpha- and gamma-tocopherol.
  • Olestra may lead to a reduction in the dietary absorption of vitamin E.
  • Anticonvulsant drugs such as carbamazepine, phenobarbital, and phenytoin may potentially decrease the blood levels of vitamin E.
  • Sucralfate (Carafate) may cause a reduction in the dietary absorption of vitamin E.

Putting Vitamin E Absorption into Perspective

We all need sources of vitamin E because our bodies do not manufacture the vitamin naturally. Food sources usually provide adequate absorption of vitamin E. Most people do not have a vitamin E deficiency, and therefore most individuals do not require a vitamin E supplement.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that protects vitamin A. Vitamin E protects the essential fatty acids from oxidation in the cells of the body. Vitamin E also prevents the breakdown of body tissues. There are many foods which provide adequate sources of vitamin E.

Sources of Vitamin E