There are many excellent food sources of vitamin E.
Best Sources of Vitamin E
- Vegetable oils
- Bell peppers
- Brussels sprouts
- Kiwi fruit
- Olive oil
- Corn oil
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
- Sunflower seeds
- 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.