Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble compounds from oxidative damage by free radicals.
Vitamin E exists in eight chemical forms (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocopherol and alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienol) that have varying levels of biological activity. Alpha- (or α-) tocopherol is the only form that is recognized to meet human requirements. Alpha-tocopherol has direct effect on the control of inflammation, red and white blood cell production, connective tissue growth and genetic control of cell division. Vitamin E acts to reduce free radical damage.
The principal use of vitamin E is that of an antioxidant. It helps protects against heart disease, cancer, stroke and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's. In addition, alpha-tocopherol supplementation is useful in treating other cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, fibrocystic breast disease, menopause symptoms and tardive dyskinesia. It may also have applications in Parkinson's Disease and arthritis. Vitamin E is important to immune function, protecting thymic function and white blood cells from oxidative stress.
Symptoms of vitamin E Deficiency:
- Nerve damage
- Muscle weakness
- Poor coordination
- Involuntary eye movements
- Red blood cell fragility
- Retrolental fibroplasia