The Wonders of Vitamin E

The Wonders of Vitamin E

Which among the vitamins are the most versatile in terms of its uses ?

I used to think that vitamin C is the best vitamin in combating aging and deterioration of body cells. But just recently, I came across this user's guide to antioxidant supplements and found out that there is another vitamin that can match the versatility of vitamin C, if not surpass vitamin E can match Vitamin C. In this article I enumerated several benefits of taking vitamin E.

* Vitamin E As a Heart Protector

During the middle part of the twentieth century, Canadian physicians Wilfrid and Evan Shute discovered that supplements containing natural vitamin E could reverse heart ailment. Decades after the deaths of the Shute brothers, vitamin E has come to be recognized as highly effective in preventing heart ailment.

Dr. Nigel G. Stephens and his colleagues at Cambridge University conducted a study on the effectivity of vitamin E in preventing heart ailment. In this study, he gave 400 or 800 IU of natural vitamin E or placebo to 2,000 patients who were previously diagnosed with heart ailment. Those who took vitamin E reduced their incidence of heart attack by 77 percent as compared to the placebo group.

Just recently, there is a new test that has been developed to measure heart disease risk.

This test measures C-reactive protein (CRP) levels in the bloodstream. Studies revealed that high levels of CRP in the blood reflects high probability of the occurrence of a heart attack by four and a half times. Other research work revealed that high doses of vitamin E lowers CRP levels. A certain research study done at the University of Otago, New Zealand, demonstrated that CRP levels were lowered by half in participants who took 800 IU of vitamin E for four weeks.

* Vitamin E and Prostate Cancer

Antioxidants such as vitamin E protect our body against the destructive effects of free radicals, which may contribute to the development of cancer. Vitamin E also may block the formation of nitrosamines which are carcinogens formed in the stomach.

In 1998, Finnish researchers gave either vitamin E or placebo to 29, 100 male smokers. The vitamin E users had 32 percent fewer cases of prostate cancer during the course of the study.

* Vitamin E As a Protector of Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids (PUFAS)

Vitamin E is the most important antioxidant situated in the cell membrane.

PUFAS make cell membrane flexible. They facilitate the passage of nutrients into the cell and wastes out the cell. Vitamin E protects these delicate fatty acids against oxidation. The more PUFAS are found in a cell membrane, the more vitamin E this cell requires to prevent free-radical damage. Cells with high PUFA levels include red blood cells, neurons , the lining of the lungs. Vitamin E forms part of the fatty membranes that surround all cells. It neutralizes several types of free radicals, deactivating certain oxidative chain reactions.

* Vitamin E As a Protector of Immune Cells

Immune cells which surround pathogens (disease-causing agents ) also require a lot of vitamin E to shield them against the oxidation that occurs when they fight against unwanted invaders.

* Vitamin E As a Possible Cure for Respiratory Allergies

A study from the University of Nottingham in England revealed that those whose diets were richest in vitamin E had lower levels of immunoglobulinE or IgE.

IgE is an indicator of allergic reactions.

* Vitamin E As Pain Reliever to Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)

Vitamin E has healing effects on people with rheumatoid arthritis (RA), a painful runaway inflammation of joint tissues. As published by the "Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases", a study revealed that 900 IU of vitamin E per day twice daily reduced RA pain by about 50 percent, and 60 percent of the participants taking vitamin E reported feeling better overall during the twelve-week study course.

* Vitamin E As Possible Cure for Alzheimer's Disease

Deposits of substance called beta-amyloid have been linked with Alzheimer's Disease. Beta-amyloid has been linked to excessive oxidation in the brain, and free-radical reaction is now believed to be a major contributor to Alzheimer's Disease.

Research has demonstrated consistently that high vitamin E intake through food can lower the risk of Alzheimer's Disease.

* Vitamin E and Diabetes

As a scientific fact, it is widely accepted that excessive free-radicals in the body plays a major role in adult-onset(type 2) diabetes, and higher intake of Vitamin E has been linked with lower risk of developing this disease.

* Vitamin E and Cataracts

Observational studies have found that lens clarity, which is used to diagnose cataracts was better in regular users of Vitamin E supplements, and in people with higher blood level of vitamin E.

Sources of Vitamin E

vegetable oils

nuts

green leafy vegetables

fortified cereals

sunflower seeds

almonds

sunflower oil

cottonseed oil

soybean oil

safflower oil

hazelnut

turnip greens

tomato sauce

avocado

carrot juice

spinach

broccoli

raw mango

wheat germ oil

SOURCE : Basic Health Publications

User's Guide to Antioxidant Supplements

Jack Challem and Melissa Block

Published 2005

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