Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that acts as an anti-oxidant, which targets loose electrons (AKA free radicals) that can damage cells in the body. The fat-soluble vitamin boasts many health claims such as improved skin and nail health, as well as a lessened risk of blood clots and heart disease.
Various studies have demonstrated Vitamin E’s ability to prevent blood clots, and for many years a Vitamin E supplement was recommended in order to prevent cardiovascular disease. However, more recent clinical trials have demonstrated mixed results.
Vitamin E may also help to protect against age-related deterioration of vision. Studies in this area are less conflicting, and there is a general consensus that Vitamin E offers the most protective benefits when taken in combination with vitamin C, beta carotene, and zinc.
Finally, Vitamin E may help to provide moisture to the skin and retain the epidermis’s natural protective barrier. Vitamin E supplements can help to improve the feeling and appearance of skin and nails.
The supplement may be particularly beneficial in preventing extensive inflammation after UV exposure. Several studies have demonstrated Vitamin E as a topical agent is capable of reducing swelling, thickening, and redness of the skin -- all signs of inflammation, which may be reduced in part due to the vitamin’s antioxidant properties.
How to Incorporate it
Taking a vitamin E supplement may be helpful to you if you struggle with deficiency, or if you’re going through dietary changes. These supplements can also be helpful after extensive sun exposure, or as an added protection against heart disease (in combination with a varied, balanced, diet and exercise.)
Alternatively, Vitamin E is found in foods such as sunflower and soybean oils, almonds, sunflower seeds, peanuts and peanut butter, pumpkins, collard greens, spinach, and red bell peppers.
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