Vitamin E: What is its role in the body?

The Vitamin E is known for its size action in the protection of body cells. The latter also plays a role in the procreation as well as in the synthesis of red blood cells. Discover in detail all the functions of this micronutrient and the foods that are rich in it.

Introducing Vitamin E

The Vitamin E is also known as tocopherol. The latter is one of the fat-soluble vitamins. It is the famous vitamin which was discovered in 1922 and called “factor X”. Its name ” tocopherol was not effective until 1936, when its role in animal reproduction was revealed.

The vitamin is made up of 4 forms of tocopherols and 4 others of tocotrienols. It is in the first group that we find alpha-tocopherol. This is the most abundant form of the vitamin in the body. The latter was established as a unit of measurement with regard to nutritional intake. It is also present in most of the supplements available in the market.

When a label mentions “mixed tocopherols”, it means that the product concerned contains, in addition to this form, beta-tocopherol as well as delta-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol. In addition, it should be noted that the body better assimilates the natural forms of Vitamin E compared to synthetic forms.

How does the vitamin act on the body?

the tocopherol offers a cell protection, which is essential, more precisely at the level of their membranes. It is a substance called antioxidant. It therefore works in the neutralization of free radicals present in the body. In addition, the vitamin also plays a role antioxidant for low density lipoproteins. Otherwise, one of the symptoms of this oxidation is atherosclerosis, which then leads to cardiovascular disease. The Vitamin E can act in synergy with other vitamins, such as vitamin C or beta-carotene. The same is true for selenium. Its role for procreation has been known for a long time.

In which foods is it possible to find this vitamin?

Tocopherol is mainly present in fats, especially sunflower (75 mg/100 g), rapeseed (42 mg/100 g) and hazelnut (49 mg/100 g) oil. Oil-based margarines (27 mg/100 g) are also rich. The same applies to oleaginous dried fruits, almonds (14.6 mg/100 g) or walnuts (3.5 to 8.5 mg/100 g).

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It is also possible to find this vitamin in fruits (1.2 to 2.4 mg/100 g) and vegetables (1 to 2 mg/100 g), such as blackberries, peaches, kiwis or spinach and broccoli. Fish (0.3 to 2 mg/100 g) and eggs (1.3 mg/100 g) also contain it. Certain cereals (2 to 6.3 mg/100 g), designed for the preparation of breakfast, can be enriched with this micronutrient. Finally, wheat germ can act as a complement.

How does a deficiency manifest itself and what is the recommended daily intake?

It is very rare to encounter this case in developed countries. However, this is possible when a disease causes disorders due to the massive absorption of fat. It is cystic fibrosis or Crohn’s disease. In these terms, the deficiency can cause neurological disorders.

The recommended nutritional intake is around 15 mg/day. We are talking here about the natural form of the vitamin.


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