What is Vitamin E?
Like some other vitamins, such as vitamin B and vitamin D, vitamin E actually refers to a group of several different types of chemically and structurally related compounds that together form the E vitamins. There are many different types of vitamin E, but by far the most common form seen in our diets is called y-tocopherol. This is not only the most commonly found type of vitamin E, it is the most easy for our body to utilize effectively and makes up about 80% of all the vitamin E intake in the common American diet. Most of the vitamin E you ingest is stored in something called adipose tissue located near the skin. The rest is stored in fatty membranes throughout the body. Due to its proximity to the skin, adipose tissue and the amount of vitamin E it holds can dramatically affect the overall health and state of your skin. Healthy levels of vitamin E usually create healthy looking and strong skin.
Vitamin E Functions
Vitamin has many diverse functions in the human body. What is considered by far the most important and relevant function is its ability to act like an antioxidant. Because it is fat soluble, it can be incorporated deeply into cell membranes and membranes all over the body and prevent what is called oxidative damage. Its functions in the body do however vary enormously. For instance it can have a profound effect on enzyme activities all over the body. One example is its role in smooth muscle growth. Vitamin E acts once again as a catalyst in enzymatic reactions that help smooth muscle grown and maintain an overall state of good health. This is important due to the fact that almost all of your vital organs are made up of this special kind of muscle including the stomach, large and small intestines, liver and kidneys. Vitamin E and tocopherol has also been shown to help protect the surface of neurons in your brain and nerve cells throughout the body.
Vitamin E has also been shown to have a profound impact on the health of your skin. This is due to the fact that most of the vitamin E in your body is actually stored near the surface of the skin. A healthy presence of vitamin E near the surface of the skin can make ones skin more flexible, strong, moist, healthy and can reduce the risk of developing chronic acne on the face or back.
Vitamin E Deficiencies
Studies have shown that approximately 25% of all Americans have a vitamin E deficiency of some varying degree. Having low levels of vitamin E has been linked directly to some severe and chronic illnesses such as heart disease, high cholesterol, high blood pressure (hypertension) and even diabetes. When children have vitamin E deficiencies, it can severely interrupt both their physical and mental development over time. This can lead to some lifelong challenges such as mental retardation, weak bones and obesity. Vitamin E is essential in the digestion of fats. So if you should have a vitamin e deficiency of some degree, you will be at risk for being overweight or obese. These can lead to further complications later on if they are not treated with a healthy lifestyle and a healthy dose of vitamin E.
Sources of Vitamin E
Vitamin E can be found very easily in a wide variety of vegetables, vegetable oils, nuts, nut oils and fortified cereals. If you need to add more vitamin E to your diet is is recommended to use nut or vegetable oils in your cooking instead of canola oil.
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