I remember many years ago when a female patient visited her family practitioner because of lumps in her breast, she was diagnosed with fibrocystic breast disease. Once an ultrasound proved that the lumps were fluid-filled, the patient was seen again for fluid removal. I can still see the two Styrofoam cups full of fluid. I also remember vividly when the physician told her to avoid coffee and caffeinated foods but also to take vitamin E tablets. He also recommended that she eat foods high in vitamin E.
Why vitamin E? What is the function of vitamin E?
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria. Some studies have shown that vitamin E can calm portions of the immune system that are involved in allergic reactions.Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells and it helps the body use vitamin K. It also helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them. Cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and carry out many important functions.
Some non-conclusive studies claim that vitamin E may prevent or slow the progression of Age-related macular degeneration, Allergic rhinitis, Altitude sickness, Anemia, Angina, Asthma, Atherosclerosis, Bladder cancer, Breast cancer, Breast cancer-related hot flashes, Cataract prevention, Colon cancer prevention, Dementia / Alzheimer’s disease, Diabetes mellitus, Dysmenorrhea, G6PD deficiency, Healing after photorefractive keratectomy, Hyperlipidemia, Liver disease, Osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, Pre-eclampsia prevention, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Prostate cancer prevention, Respiratory infection prevention, Tardive dyskinesia, Venous thromboembolism (VTE). Please view on the home page Vitamin E under Links for further explanation.
The best way to get the daily requirement of vitamin E is by eating food sources. The food that carries the highest amount is sunflower seeds. Vitamin E is found in the following foods:
- Vegetable oils (such as wheat germ, sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils)
- Nuts (such as almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts/filberts)
- Seeds (such as sunflower seeds)
- Green leafy vegetables (such as spinach and broccoli)
- Fortified breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarine, and spreads. Fortified means that vitamins have been added to the food. Check the Nutrition Fact Panel on the food label.
Eating vitamin E in foods is not risky or harmful. In supplement form, however, high doses of vitamin E might increase the risk for bleeding. High levels of vitamin E may also increase the risk of birth defects.
Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include walking unsteadily, muscle weakness, reduction in muscle mass, impaired vision and abnormal eye movements. Long-term vitamin E deficiency can cause liver and kidney problems.
We each are the best judge for what works for us! So, how about taking the recommended daily intake of 15mg of vitamin E to help prevent or slow down some illnesses!