Join Now!      Login

Whole Person Wellness Program Wellness Model
Skip Navigation Links
Health Centers
Key Services
Breast Cancer?
More than three-quarters of women who get breast cancer are over whtat age?
over 40 years
over 45 years
over 50 years
over 55 years

 Vitamins: Vitamin E  

Vitamin E deficiency is fairly rare with vague symptoms that are difficult to diagnose, causing some question as to its importance since there is no clear deficiency disease in humans as there is with deficiency of vitamin C or many of the B vitamins. Infertility as an effect of vitamin E deficiency has not been revealed as clearly in humans as it was in the rat study. It is likely that vitamin E deficiency is simply more difficult to diagnose symptomatically because of its wide range of effects on the nervous, reproductive, muscular, and circulatory systems and because other nutrients may mask vitamin E deficiencies. However, biochemically, low levels of vitamin E can be measured in the blood and have been seen in such conditions as acne, anemia, infections, some cancers, periodontal disease, cholesterol gallstones, neuromuscular diseases, and dementias such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Deficiencies are more of a concern in premature babies, since there is no maternal-fetal vitamin E transfer; vitamin E depletion may also appear in newborns fed on cow’s milk, which contains no vitamin E, instead of breast milk, which does contain some if the mother’s diet is healthy. Deficiency is also more likely in adults with gastrointestinal disease, with poor fat digestion and metabolism, or with pancreatic insufficiency.

Iron, especially the inorganic form, depletes vitamin E absorption in the small intestine. The two should not be taken together, as this causes the absorption of both to be diminished. Chlorine, ferric chloride, and rancid oils also deplete or destroy vitamin E.

The first sign of vitamin E deficiency may be loss of red blood cells due to fragility caused by the loss of cell membrane protection. Oxidized polyunsaturated fatty acids may also weaken the red blood cell membranes and cause rupture. The generalized decrease in cell and tissue protection from free radical molecules may lead to abnormal fat deposits in muscles, muscle wasting, and problems in the kidneys and liver because of the circulating dead cells and toxins released. Men may have changes in the testicular tissue with vitamin E deficiency.

With increased oxidation, there is an increased requirement for vitamin E. Vitamin E deficiency may lead to free radical effects on the unsaturated fatty acids, inhibiting their functions in the health of cell membranes and tissues. Pituitary and adrenal function may be lowered, as these glands may suffer from the cumulative effects of oxidation. Degenerative changes produced by deficiency of vitamin E may not be corrected by vitamin E therapy.

There is some question as to whether tocopherol ("to bear children") deficiency reduces the ability to carry pregnancy to term and increases the likelihood of premature birth or causes problems in infants. Is it related to increased heart disease or atherosclerosis or even cancer? Surely, there is a lot more to learn about vitamin E.

Requirements: The amount of vitamin E required depends upon body size and the amount of polyunsaturated fats in the diet, since vitamin E is needed to protect these fats from oxidation. More is needed when any refined oils, fried foods, or rancid oils are consumed. Supplemental estrogen or estrogen imbalance in women increases the need for vitamin E, as does air pollution. And, as I have mentioned, vitamin E should not be taken with iron, especially inorganic iron, such as ferrous sulfate or the iron added to food products. Selenium, another important antioxidant, however, may increase the potency of vitamin E.

(Excerpted from Staying Healthy with Nutrition ISBN: 1587611791)
CONTINUED      Previous   1  2  3  4  5  6  Next   
 Comments Add your comment 

 About The Author
Elson Haas MDElson M. Haas, MD is founder & Director of the Preventive Medical Center of Marin (since 1984), an Integrated Health Care Facility in San Rafael, CA and author of many books on Health and Nutrition, including ...more
 From Our Friends
Popular & Related Products
Popular & Featured Events
Error Reading Event Calendar
Stevia Products & Info
Dimensions of Wellness
Wellness, Eating, dimension!

Home       Wellness       Health A-Z       Alternative Therapies       Find a Practitioner       Wellness Inventory
Healthy Kitchen       Healthy Woman       Healthy Man       Healthy Child       Healthy Aging       Wellness Center       Nutrition Center       Fitness Center
Stevia      Discount Lab Tests      First Aid      Global Health Calendar      Healthy Products       Privacy Policy     Contact Us
Disclaimer: The information provided on HealthWorld Online is for educational purposes only and IS NOT intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
Are you ready to embark on a personal wellness journey with our whole person approach?
Learn More/Subscribe
Are you looking to create or enhance a culture of wellness in your organization?
Learn More
Do you want to become a wellness coach?
Learn More
Free Webinar