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Healthy Vitamins

Vitamin E Deficiency

Although severe vitamin E deficiency is rare, it does seem that a lot of us have a sub-optimal intake, and may very well need vitamin E supplements.  Especially older adults seem not to get enough vitamin E – 70-80% do not even get the RDA of 30 IUs, and may especially benefits from E supplements.  A deficiency can cause nerve and muscle degeneration and muscle weakness, impaired vision, changes in skin pigmentation & anemia.  It can also cause reproductive problems like multiple miscarriages and premature deliveries.  It can cause neurological problems and eventually compromise kidney and liver function.

Babies born with very low birth weights, such as premature infants, may be deficient in vitamin E.  If your doctor is not giving your premature infants vitamin E supplements, you might want to ask.  Last, but not least, there seems to be some concern that those with a diet rich in fish oil, like cod liver oil, may somehow induce a vitamin E deficiency.  So if you eat a lot of oily fish or take supplements like cod liver oil, you might want to consider taking E supplements as well.

Food Sources of Vitamin E

E is found in wheat germ & wheat germ oil, palm oil, almonds, salmon, leafy green vegetables, organ meats like liver, eggs, butterfat, whole grains, avocados, nuts and vegetable oils.  We don't recommend the use of many of these vegetable oils, however, especially soy oil, because of their implication in immune system dysfunction and cancer.

Sunflower oil that is cold pressed is probably OK, but it does tend to go rancid rather quickly.  Walnut, hazelnut, peanut & extra-virgin olive oils are also good sources, but with these too you want to make sure and purchase and consume them fresh.

Modern processing tends to destroy vitamin E in both oils and whole grains, and if you are still consuming vegetable oils, they seem to actually increase your vitamin E requirements, so you might need supplements.

Higher Need for Vitamin E May Mean Supplements Can Be Beneficial

Since fat is necessary for your body to use vitamin E, it seems that anyone who has problems absorbing fat may need vitamin E supplements.  This may include those with pancreatic insufficiency or liver disease, or those with Crohn's disease.  Also those with cystic fibrosis or who have had all or part of their stomach removed, as in stomach stapling surgeries for obesity, may need additional E and may well benefit from E supplements.

Vitamin E Supplements

FDA Disclaimer:  None of the statements on this website have been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA).  They are not intended to diagnose, treat,  cure or prevent any disease or medical condition.  Furthermore, none of  the statements on this website should be construed as making claims  about curing diseases or dispensing medical advice.  Please consult a  physician or another health care provider before trying any nutritional  supplement, making changes in your diet, or doing new exercises,  especially if you are pregnant or have any pre-existing medical  conditions or injuries.


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