Vitamin E acts as an important antioxidant. What do antioxidants do?

October 28, 2016

What does vitamin E do for me? Why do I need vitamin E?

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! and today I’m talking about vitamin E!

Vitamin E works as an important antioxidant. Antioxidant you ask? You’re right it’s kind of a big word and a tough concept. Here’s how I explain it.

During metabolic activity, oxidative processes leave thin layers of debris over and throughout the millions of cells necessary for bodily function, somewhat like the oxidation or rusting of metal when it is left unprotected from the environment.

Unfortunately, oxidative debris is harmful and interferes with cellular function by disrupting cell membranes. That’s where vitamin E comes in and as an ANTI-oxidant, works to protect cell membranes from the harmful side effects of metabolic oxidation. Stated another way, vitamin E scrubs the cells in our bodies of accumulated metabolic rust, which scientists believe confers vitamin E its important immune enhancing properties.

The recommended dietary allowance of Vitamin E in adults is 15 mg or 22.5 international units daily.

Foods rich in vitamin E include sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts, olive oil, tomatoes, avocado, spinach and asparagus as well as broccoli. Vitamin E can also be taken as a dietary supplement and most multivitamin and mineral formulations contain sufficient quantities of vitamin E to ensure adequate daily intake.

Nonetheless, the 2013 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey revealed that 27% of whites, 41% of blacks and 28% of Latinos are deficient in vitamin E!

Vitamin E taken as a supplement is generally safe if the tolerable upper intake is limited to no more than 1000 mg or 1500 international units daily. Nutrition experts propose the Recommended Dietary Allowance when it comes to vitamin E, which is 15 mg or 22.5 international units per day.

So have at the almonds and avocados, use olive or canola oil on your salads and ensure adequate vitamin E intake by consuming a quality multivitamin and mineral supplement every day to anti-oxidize your cell membranes and ensure high performance immunity.

This is Dr. Jim for Be Healthy! Be Happy! Thanks for listening and stay tuned for our next segment when I’ll tell why you need vitamin C to stay healthy and happy!

Reference: The Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University, 2015. Online [available at]: Accessed May 25, 2015.