Vitamin E

The Science

Vitamin E

Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is a fat-soluble vitamin that is known for its powerful antioxidant properties, but is also plays an important role in supporting our natural immune system. Vitamin E “is important for normal function of the immune cells” and “has been shown to enhance immune responses” (see the Scientific References at the bottom of the page). Because our bodies cannot make vitamin E, it must come from the foods (and supplements) that we eat every day.

Vitamin E

Occurrence in Food & Supplements

“Plant oils are the main dietary sources of vitamin E, with meat, poultry and dairy products providing only moderate amounts… Vitamin E is present in a variety of dietary supplements at doses of up to 268 mg/day in multi-constituent products and 670 mg/day in single constituent products.” (EVM 2003)

Absorption & Bioavailability

“α-Tocopherol is absorbed unchanged from the small intestine by non-saturable, passive diffusion… It has been reported that in human studies, absorption of α-tocopherol and its acetate ester was in the region of 21-86% over 24 hours.” (EVM 2003)

Safe Daily Level

“A supplemental dose of 1000 mg/day supplement would not be expected to have any significant adverse effects.” (EVM 2003)

Vitamin E Health Benefits

  • Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress.
  • Tocopherol Succinate, the natural form of Vitamin E that is used in Nutrienta Supplements, is “one of the most potent antioxidant tocopherols”.
  • According to the NHS website, “Vitamin E helps maintain healthy skin and eyes, and strengthen the body’s natural defence against illness and infection (the immune system).”
  • Please see the Scientific References at the bottom of the page to learn about the role of Vitamin E in immune cells, how it enhances the immune response, and confers “protection against several infectious diseases”.

Further Information

Vitamin E
Vitamin E is one of the lesser-known vitamins, but it has proven antioxidant and immune-boosting effects. Your body needs the vitamin to boost your immune system so that it can fight off harmful viruses and bacteria. It helps to widen your blood vessels and prevents your blood from clotting inside them. The vitamin also helps your cells to interact with each other and to carry out numerous important functions.

Antioxidant Benefits

You have probably seen rust on an old car or bike. Well, a similar oxidation process occurs in your body when cells are exposed to molecules called “free radicals”. The oxidation process prematurely ages the cells in your body because the free radicals weaken and break down healthy cells. These pesky free radicals may also contribute to chronic health issues like cancer and heart disease. Oxidative stress occurs when there is an imbalance between potentially harmful free radicals and beneficial antioxidants such as Vitamins A, C and E.

In short, antioxidants help to neutralise free radicals, which protects your body from cellular damage. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant within the body, and researchers are investigating how its anti-inflammatory properties might play a role in easing some chronic conditions, especially when taken as a supplement.

Scientific References

“Vitamin E has been shown to enhance immune responses in animal and human models and to confer protection against several infectious diseases.”
Lee, G.Y.; Han, S.N. The Role of Vitamin E in Immunity. Nutrients 2018, 10, 1614. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111614

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Vitamin E “is important for normal function of the immune cells… Supplementation of vitamin E significantly enhances both cell mediated and humoral immune functions in humans, especially in the elderly”.

Pekmezci D. Vitamin E and immunity. Vitam Horm. 2011;86:179-215. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386960-9.00008-3. PMID: 21419272.

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