Although its name suggests that it is a single vitamin, vitamin E family actually makes fat-soluble vitamins that act throughout the body. Some members of the family of vitamins are called tocopherols. These members are alpha tocopherol, beta tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol and delta tocopherol.
Other members of the family of vitamin E called tocotrienols. These members are alpha, beta, gamma and delta tocotrienols.
Although people need to breathe oxygen to stay alive, oxygen within the body is risky because it can make molecules overly reactive. They can begin to damage cell structures around them. Vitamin E helps prevent oxidative stress by working together with a group of nutrients that prevent oxygen molecules become too reactive. This group contains nutrients vitamin C, glutathione, selenium and vitamin B3. Some researchers believe that vitamin E the most important member of this group, which prevents oxidative stress.
Vitamin E directly protects the skin from ultraviolet radiation. When the diet contains plenty of vitamin E it can travel in the cell membranes of the skin and have a protective effect. Foods rich in vitamin E include nuts, seeds, spinach, cabbage, pepper and olive oil, a diet rich in vitamin E decrease the risk of developing bladder cancer.
Foods rich in this vitamin can:
- Protect your skin from UV rays
- Prevent cell damage from free radicals
- Allow cells to communicate effectively
- To help protect against prostate cancer and Alzheimer’s disease
Symptoms of deficiency is difficult to determine. In many studies, low levels of vitamin E is associated with digestive problems and poor absorption of nutrients from the digestive tract. These problems include disease of the pancreas, gallbladder, liver disease and celiac disease.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs due to a lack of vitamin E. It focuses on the nervous system and problems with the hands, legs and feet. Pain, numbness and loss of sensation in these extremities are associated with a lack of vitamin E. Because vitamin E is soluble in fats poor absorption of fats in the digestive tract may contribute to the lack of vitamin E.
Excessive intake of vitamin E may be problematic, but it almost never happens with vitamin E from food. Supplements of vitamin E, when taken in large doses, can have a toxic effect. These effects include cramping in the intestines and diarrhea, fatigue, ghosting and muscle weakness.