Nutrition

The 5 Surprising Health Benefits of Vitamin E 

Looking for something to benefit almost every aspect of your health? From your hair and skin to your eyes and heart health, the health benefits of vitamin E are so far-reaching that you’ll wonder why you haven’t been prioritizing it all along!

So, keep reading to learn all about this incredible nutrient and start taking advantage of its many benefits today!

 

All About Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s mainly metabolized in your liver. Because fat-soluble nutrients are harder for your body to break down, they have a higher risk of causing toxicity in your body.

As a result, it’s important to know how much your individual body needs. Now, because vitamin E can only be obtained through your diet, it’s a vital nutrient to consume on a regular basis. The current RDA is 15 mg, but make sure to discuss your ideal amount with your physician.

So, what makes vitamin E such an important and health-promoting nutrient? Well, first, it’s known to be a rather powerful antioxidant—meaning it helps to protect your cells from further damage due to oxidative stress. [1, 2]

As you may recall, oxidative stress has been linked to the development of many diseases, including some cancers (especially colon), Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, fatty liver disease, atherosclerosis, and more. [3, 4]

Now that you know a little more about why this vitamin is so important and what’s behind its powerful effects, let’s take a closer look at some of the top health benefits of vitamin E.

5 Health Benefits of Vitamin E

Here are a few of the top health benefits of vitamin E. Take a look and see which ones surprise you.

1. Helps prevent hair loss

Scientists have long suspected that one of the incredible health benefits of vitamin E is its ability to help prevent hair loss. And a 2013 study confirmed the two are linked.

Researchers discovered that both serum and tissue levels of vitamin E were lower in patients with alopecia areata (otherwise known as patchy hair loss) than in healthy groups with no hair loss. [5]

Additionally, studies have shown a link between oxidative stress and the presence of alopecia, with alopecia sufferers often having lower antioxidant levels in their scalp.

Accordingly, researchers followed 21 volunteers as they received 100 mg daily of a vitamin E-containing supplement or a placebo.

After eight months, the researchers found that in terms of new hair growth, the vitamin E group experienced a 34.5 percent increase while the placebo group saw a decrease in amount of hair by 0.1 percent. [6]

2. Decreases heart disease risk by up to 40%

One of the most promising health benefits of vitamin E is its apparent effect on heart health.

Numerous studies have shown that the more vitamin E you consume, the lower your risk of heart disease.

In fact, one study followed just over 87,000 female nurses between the ages of 34 and 59 and assessed their consumption of many nutrients, including vitamin E.

The researchers found that those who consumed the most vitamin E were up to 40 percent less likely to have heart disease than those who consumed the least. This consumption was primarily in the form of supplements. [7]

Meanwhile, another study on more than 5,000 adults also revealed that higher consumption of vitamin E was linked to a lower risk of dying from heart disease. [8]

3. Helps lower risk of cataracts

Amazingly, another one of the incredible health benefits of vitamin E is its impact on eye health—specifically by helping to lower your risk of developing cataracts.

According to a 2015 meta-analysis, vitamin E consumption (through food and/or supplements) was significantly associated with decreased risk of age-related cataracts. [9]

Specifically, dietary consumption resulted in a 73-percent decrease in risk while dietary and supplemental consumption resulted in an 86-percent decrease in risk. Furthermore, the risk dropped with an intake of 7 mg of vitamin E per day.

4. Shown to reduce cognitive decline by 36%

Perhaps one of the most exciting health benefits of vitamin E is the promise it’s shown in reducing cognitive decline in the elderly population.

In one study, researchers followed 2,889 community residents from age 65 to 102 to assess whether antioxidant-rich nutrients, including vitamin E, vitamin C, and carotene, were associated with reduced cognitive decline with age.

Interestingly, the researchers found that there was a 36-percent reduction in the rate of cognitive decline I those with the highest vitamin E intake compared to those with the lowest intake. [10]

Meanwhile, there was little association between vitamin C and/or carotene intake and reduced cognitive decline.

As a result, the researchers concluded that vitamin E intake from either food or supplements is definitely associated with reduced cognitive decline with age.

5. Fights eczema, skin cancer, wrinkles, and more

Finally, the incredible health benefits of vitamin E also extend to your skin!

According to a 2015 study, consumption of vitamin E significantly improved the itchiness that accompanies eczema.

Specifically, people who consumed 400 IU of vitamin E each day reported an astounding 85-percent improvement in itching. They also reported a 67-percent improvement in extent of lesions. [11]

Meanwhile, additional studies have found that vitamin E offers chemoprotective effects against skin cancer, fights wrinkles, and even reduces UV-induced aging to skin. [12, 13]

 

Health benefits of vitamin e - Dr. Pingel

 

Key Takeaways

  • Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it’s mainly metabolized in your liver. Since your body doesn’t produce it, it can only be obtained from your diet.
  • Most of the vitamin E benefits come from the fact that it acts as a powerful antioxidant.
  • A few of the top health benefits of vitamin E include: helping prevent hair loss, decreasing the risk of heart disease, helping lower the risk of developing cataracts, reducing cognitive decline, and supporting skin health.

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