Vitamin E

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Most often known as an elite ingredient in moisturizers and body butters, Vitamin E is certainly present in our daily lives, but is being underestimated for its ability to balance out our immune system and potential cancer-prevention properties. The term “Vitamin E” actually refers to a combination of eight different compounds, including, delta-tocotrienol and RRR-alpha-tocopheryl succinate; Vitamin E is an antioxidant that helps to protect your cells from damage. [1]

Vitamin E is also highly important for its ability to oxidize the harmful byproducts of the fats we consume. By this, “accelerated aging takes place in your body when cells are exposed to molecules called free radicals. Free radicals weaken and break down healthy cells.”1The eight compounds that make up Vitamin E work to minimize this, making sure that your body absorbs the healthy components of fats instead. A way to visualize this process is to think of the oxidation of fat cells as the way rust compounds onto metal; Vitamin E is the material that removes the ‘rust’ of our body. 

Vitamin E and Cancer

Vitamin E has been extensively studied in relation to cancer and other diseases, specifically breast cancer. The notion of cancer prevention through diet modification is not new; however, research is beginning to reveal how a “dietary supplementation of vitamin E, a lipid-soluble antioxidant, may reduce a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.”[2]

For example, “several studies reviewed the effects of standard vitamin E products (alpha tocopherol acetate) taken by themselves. The results fail to show a protective benefit, even when high doses of these alpha tocopherol supplements are consumed. This indicates that other forms of vitamin E found in food (such as gamma tocopherol and tocotrienols) may be responsible for providing the dramatic protective effect against breast cancer shown in surveys that evaluate total vitamin E intake.”[3] What this suggests is that Vitamin E functions as a whole: the combination of each of the eight compounds creates a unique relationship that more effective than any of the compounds individually.

In addition, “another method that scientists have used to ascertain vitamin E's potential benefit is to measure frozen blood levels of vitamin E and then follow up to see how many women subsequently develop breast cancer. One study of postmenopausal women showed a modest 20% reduction in breast cancer risk in the highest quartile of serum vitamin E (alpha tocopherol) compared to the lowest.”3This further supports the claim that Vitamin E and its unique chemical makeup help to prevent breast cancer when taken regularly and in proper dosages. While these findings are yet to be referred to as concrete fact, they can contextually support the fact that a well-maintained, balanced diet is crucial in order to have our best health.

Integrating Calcium in Your Diet

Our body usually receives enough Vitamin E through a balanced diet rich in healthy oils and greens. Vitamin E also helps to maintain a healthy immune system and can be found in the following foods, among others:[4]

  • Almonds

  • Raw seeds

  • Swiss chard

  • Mustard greens

  • Spinach

  • Turnip greens

  • Kale

  • Plant oils

  • Hazelnuts

  • Pine nuts

  • Avocado

  • Broccoli

  • Parsley

  • Papaya

  • Olives

Most people receive adequate amounts of Vitamin E through an organic, well-balanced diet, and some also benefit from taking a regular Vitamin E supplement to maintain that their consumption remains consistent. Tips for increasing your natural consumption include substituting plant, avocado, or peanut oils for butter or margarine; you can also add seeds on top of salads or snack on trail mixes. To learn more about integrating Vitamin E-rich foods or Vitamin E supplements into your diet, consult your doctor or physician.

For More Information 

Vitamin E is an important component in maintaining our health; it is a fat-soluble antioxidant that helps our body neutralize the oxidation of fats. For more information on integrating Vitamin E into your diet, consult your physician. You can also contact our medical team here; we are happy to assist you and look forward to speaking with you!

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[1]“The Benefits of Vitamin E.” Healthline. 2016.

[2]Kimmick, G.G., R.A. Bell, and R.M. Bostick. “Vitamin E and breast cancer: a review.” NCBI.1997.

[3]Morrow, Dr. Michele. “Does Vitamin E Prevent Breast Cancer?” Life Extension.2002.

[4]Dr. Edward Group. “15 Foods High in Vitamin E.” Global Healing Center.2011.

CMN Hospital