Buying Guide & Tips
Vitamin E benefits are best through natural and organic foods. If supplementation is necessary, just make sure that the supplements you take are a natural form of Vitamin E,not synthetic.
The reason for this is because natural Vitamin E contains all of the correct components in the correct ratios for the body to absorb and utilize it properly. Click on the “General Properties” link above for more information.
While synthetic Vitamin E will provide you with some of the benefits of Vitamin E, there are not enough long term studies on humans to know whether or not there are any serious side effects of its use.
As we have all seen, serious side effects from the long term use of many things that were once thought to be safe and harmless have cropped up, especially with synthetic supplements and drugs.
My Own Experience…
I haven’t personally used Vitamin E as a remedy and don’t currently take it as a supplement.
If you have any personal experience with Vitamin E remedies, we’d love to hear about it. Justuse this handy form to share your experience with us and we’ll post it here on the site.
All remedies listed below have the same dosage instructions unless otherwise noted. To fully experience Vitamin E benefits, simply make sure that your supplementation is from a natural source and not synthesized in a lab.
Because Vitamin E is fat soluble, please take it with food so that your body can absorb it properly.
There are different opinions as to how much Vitamin E is needed per day, so I’ve listed a couple differing doses along with who is recommending them (I will list more as I find them):
- USRDA: 15 mg per day for adult males and females.
- Linus Pauling Institute: 200 mg per day.
- Dr. Evan Shute (renowned for his 30 years of Vitamin E study):400 IU per day for women and 600 IU per day for men.
A note about Vitamin E megadosing: The USRDA for Vitamin E is simply what’s required to avoid Vitamin E deficiency, not what’s required to gain optimal health. That being said, there may be some danger in taking Vitamin E in the 1000 to 2000 mg ranges. Studies have been analyzed and some conclusions are that there is an increase in “death from all causes” for those taking more than 1000 mg per day.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine has stated that 1000 mg per day is the “tolerable upper intake level” for Vitamin E to prevent the possibility of hemorrhage. (Vitamin E is a natural anti-coagulant.)
Please use your best judgment and watch for side effects of too much Vitamin E.
Conditions This Remedy Treats:
(Clicking on the name of underlined conditions below will take you to the page that discusses the causes and other remedies for that particular condition.)
Three recent studies have shown that one of the Vitamin E benefits is protection from Alzheimer’s Disease. Vitamin E is used in the brain to stay healthy and chronic lack of regular Vitamin E levels can contribute to the brain losing some of its function.
Taking a natural Vitamin E supplement and eating foods rich in Vitamin E can help prevent this disease later in life. Here are links to those studies if you’d like to see them: Study 1 ,Study 2 , and Study 3 .
It has been shown that Vitamin E benefits those with Asthma by improving lung function significantly. It’s also a preventative for developing Asthma altogether.
See Common Dosage
Many studies have been done on the possible Vitamin E benefits in preventing Cancer. Because Vitamin E is an antioxidant, it protects the cells in your body from free radical damage. This free radical damage is a major contributor to the cause of Cancer.
Studies have shown that those who take regular Vitamin E supplements and those who have higher levels of Vitamin E in their blood also have clearer lenses in their eyes.
Cataracts is a degenerative disease that clouds the lenses of the eyes. Antioxidants in general are being studied to see if there is a direct effect on lens clarity.
There is a lot of anecdotal evidence that Vitamin E benefits those who suffer regular muscle cramping. Vitamin E increases the function of the brain that regulates muscular movement in the body. This includes relief from uterine cramping during PMS.
Recent studies are showing that another Vitamin E benefit is that it may delay the onset of Type II Diabetes in adults who are overweight. It does this by making your body less insulin resistant. They found this was only a temporary effect however and more studies are being done.
One major Vitamin E benefit is that it protects LDL Cholesterol from being oxidized by free radicals in the body.
It’s this oxidized LDL that causes the blockages in arteries that cause heart disease and heart attack. Many studies have shown that those who have taken regular Vitamin E supplementation have much lower incidents of heart disease and heart attack.
There are eight forms of Vitamin E, but only one of those gives us the Vitamin E benefits we need. That form is called alpha-tocopherol.
Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that gets stored in your body’s tissues. It’s used to protect cell membranes (which have fat in them) from free-radical damage.
The difference between Vitamin E as an antioxidant and other antioxidants is that once the Vitamin E molecule is used, it looses its antioxidant properties. Vitamin C however, is capable of regenerating a Vitamin E molecule back to its antioxidant status.
Alpha-tocopherol also protects LDL from oxidizing. The oxidation of LDL molecules is what is attributed to cardiovascular disease.
The benefits of Vitamin E are best in their natural form which would be listed as RRR-alpha-tocopherol or d-alpha-tocopherol on a supplement label.
The synthetic version is commonly listed as dl-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol.
Possible Side Effects:
At normal doses, there are no side effects to Vitamin E intake.
In my research for side effects of high dosage Vitamin E intake however (anything over 400 IU per day), it was never clear whether people experiencing these side effects were taking synthetic or natural Vitamin E.
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms from taking Vitamin E, discontinue its use and see if the symptoms stop.
Take note as to whether you are taking natural (RRR-alpha-tocopherol or d-alpha-tocopherol) or synthetic (dl-alpha-tocopherol or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol) Vitamin E. Maybe switching to a lower dosage of natural supplementation would be beneficial. Check with your health practitioner.
Possible High Dosage Vitamin E Side Effects:
- Blurred Vision
- Aspirin:One study found that Vitamin E intake combined with Aspirin caused a higher incidence of bleeding gums in smokers, than with Aspirin alone. It has also been stated that Vitamin E in high doses can act as a blood thinner although there was a double blind trial that found that high doses of Vitamin E did not increase the blood thinning effects of Warfrin. If you are on an Aspirin regiment, please ask your health practitioner about adding Vitamin E supplementation to your diet.
- AZT:This drug is used as a retrovirus inhibitor, including HIV. Common names for this drug are: Apo-Zidovudine, Azidothymidine, Novo-AZT, Retrovir, ZDV, Zidovudine. Also in a combination drug called Combivir. – In animal studies, it has been shown that Vitamin E improves the effectiveness of AZT, but no human trials have been done yet.
- Lovastatin:This drug is used to block the body’s production of cholesterol thus lowering elevated cholesterol levels. Common names for this drug are: Apo-Lovastatin, Mevacor. Also found in the dietary supplement called Cholestin. – One of the side effects of Lovastatin is that it oxidizes LDL cholesterol, which is a major contributor to heart disease. One of the benefits of Vitamin E is that it helps to protect LDL cholesterol from being oxidized. Unfortunately, it will not completely counteract all oxidation activity from Lovastatin, but it will protect you from some of it.
- Simvastatin:This drug is used to block the body’s production of cholesterol thus lowering elevated cholesterol levels. A common name for this drug is: Zocor. – A study found that taking 300 IU of Vitamin E daily while taking Simvastatin improved blood vessel elasticity in those with hypercholesterolemia than with Simvastatin alone.
- Warfarin:Common names for this drug are: Coumadin, Marevan, and Warfilone. – Warfarin is a blood thinner. Doctors have warned that taking Vitamin E with this drug will thin the blood too much, but this is apparently from an isolated case in 1974 where a man who took Warfarin and 1200 IU per day of Vitamin E had increased the blood thinning properties of the drug. Studies done since then however have not shown this to be the case and no other incidents have been reported.
Did You Know…?
- Vitamin E is a fat soluble antioxidant that protects tissue from free radical damage and can be stored in the body’s fat cells. Because of this, you can reach toxic levels if you take too much.
- Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by a couple of University of California researchers – Herbert Evans and Katherine Bishop.
- One of the Vitamin E benefits is that it helps the body make blood cells. It also helps us to use Vitamin K.
- You can find Vitamin E benefits in Almonds, Avocados, sunflower seeds, vegetable oils (watch out for those hydrogenated oils though!), some whole grains such as wheat germ, olives, brown rice, legumes, dark leafy veggies, eggs, organ meats, and kelp.
- Inorganic iron will completely destroy Vitamin E, so be sure to take iron supplements away from your Vitamin E, at least 8 to 9 hours apart. Iron from foods however, can be taken at the same time as Vitamin E.
- Watch out for foods that have been “enriched” with Vitamin E, as they use the synthetic version of Vitamin E for this purpose.