Vitamin E is fat-soluble in nature. It exists in eight different forms. The most active form of this vitamin present in humans is called Alpha-tocopherol (?-tocopherol). Vitamin E acts as an antioxidant that protects the cells from free radicals. These free radicals if not controlled might result in the development of cardiovascular irregularities and cancer. Vitamin E also plays a crucial role in immunity maintenance, DNA repair and other metabolic functions.
The common food sources of Vitamin E include vegetable oils, nuts, green leafy vegetables and fortified cereals. Compared to other vitamins, rarely does a man fall short of adequate Vitamin E supply. However, a person in whom dietary fat does not get absorbed well due to bile irregularities is at the risk of Vitamin E deficiency. Rare genetic abnormalities also make a person deficient in Vitamin E. Low-birth-weight babies (with birth weights less than 1500 grams) and prematurely born infants are also likely to suffer from Vitamin E deficiency. Zinc deficiency is also related to decreased levels of Vitamin E.
The deficiency of Vitamin E in the body results in certain neurological problems. Nerve degeneration in hands and feet are the commonly found disorders. However, these irregularities can be the symptoms of other disorders as well. It is advisable to consult a specialist doctor for a precise diagnosis.
Vitamin E supplements are provided to those individuals who cannot absorb dietary fat from the gastrointestinal tract. Intestinal disorders also interfere adversely with the proper absorption of Vitamin E.
Recent researches in this field has led scientists to the conclusion that Vitamin E checks or delays coronary heart ailments. Vitamin E limits the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which is notorious as bad cholesterol. It is also found to prevent blocks from being formed in the arteries and thereby effectively prevents heart attack. Observational studies point out that the risk of coronary diseases is minimal in those people who take in more Vitamin E either through food or in the form of supplements.