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Vitamin E Basics
July 23, 2009

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A Guide to the E Vitamin


The e vitamin is extremely important for a variety of functions in the body. A healthy heart needs plenty of the e vitamin as it has been shown to actually prevent heart disease. The e vitamin can also help contain any existing heart disease and stop it from getting worse.

E vitamin is also vital in protecting the cell membranes from the harmful free radicals that are present in the body. Without e vitamin, amongst others, the cell membranes would be damaged and this could lead to serious health problems, including cancer. The reason that the e vitamin is so effective against free radicals is that it is fat soluble so it can be absorbed into the cell membranes. The e vitamin is therefore essential for the immune system. The recommended daily amount of the e vitamin that a person requires depends on their body weight. This is connected to the fact that the more fat a diet contains then the more of the e vitamin that is needed. However, the only foods that really contain any reasonable amount of the e vitamin are vegetable oils, seeds, wheat germ, and nuts. It is for this reason that most people should take some form of e vitamin supplement.

A deficiency of the e vitamin does not affect a person immediately. In fact, it can take months for the effects of insufficient e vitamin to be detected. After years of e vitamin deficiency there maybe some detectable damage to the nerves of the spinal cord or retina of the eye but this is very rare. Most people obtain enough e vitamin from a normal diet but it is essential that the food that a person eats contains a little fat to help with the absorption of the e vitamin.

There are a few medical conditions that may lead to a deficiency of the e vitamin and may require the person to take e vitamin supplements. Cystic fibrosis causes a person to be unable to digest fats well which leads to less of the e vitamin being absorbed. Crohn’s disease causes to lower absorption rates of the e vitamin and a supplement may be necessary. Some forms of liver disease can also lead to problems absorbing the e vitamin, especially through the intestine. Of course, as fat is required to help absorb sufficient amounts of the e vitamin, anyone on an extremely low-fat diet will need to discuss their options for increasing the amount of e vitamin that their body needs.

Until next time, yours in good health!

Jeff Kimball

Editor of The-Vitamin-and Supplement-Guide.com




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