- 1 Vitamin E rich foodsWhat Is Vitamin E?
- 3 What Is Vitamin E Deficiency and Who Is At Risk?
What Is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it dissolves in fat. It is also an antioxidant which may help prevent cell damage. Vitamin E is instrumental in keeping many organs of the body functioning properly. [1 and 2]
What Are Some Sources of Vitamin E?[1,2]
- Wheat germ
- Vegetable oils
What is Vitamin E Used For?
- Making red blood cells
- Facilitating the body's use of vitamin K
- Heart disease
- Photodermatitis (allergy to the sun's UV rays), and other skin problems
- Alzheimer's disease
- Age-related macular degeneration
- Respiratory infections
- Menstrual pain
- Tardive dyskinesia (reflexive, repetitive movements caused by long-term use of certain medications)
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Vitamin E deficiency
- Increasing endurance and energy
- Lessening muscle damage from exercise
- Increasing muscle strength
- Cystic fibrosis
- Infertility and impotence
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Peptic ulcers
Vitamin E is available in a water-soluble form for those who have difficulties absorbing fat. It comes in tablet, capsule, softgel and topical oil forms as well. 
Dosage varies according to age, form, condition and diagnosis. The upper limit for vitamin E intake is 1000 milligrams (1500 IU) daily, but the usual dosage prescribed is between 50 and 1000 IU. Ask your doctor what dosage is best for you, especially if you have chronic health problems and take medication. [1 and 2]
Does Vitamin E Have Health Benefits?
Evidence is mixed regarding the use of Vitamin E for:
- Cancer prevention
- Heart disease
- Alzheimer's disease
- Tardive dyskinesia
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Vitamin E may be useful for: [1 and 2]
- Deficiency of the vitamin
- Age-related macular degeneration (when taken with antioxidants such as zinc, beta-carotene, vitamin C)
- Menstrual pain and PMS symptoms
- Bladder cancer
- Some liver disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis (as a pain reliever but not as an anti-inflammatory)
- Tardive dyskinesia and tardive dyspraxia
- Parkinson's disease
- Kidney problems (in children)
- Skin and eye problems
- Physical performance and strength improvements
- Radiation-related fibrosis
Vitamin E may not be useful for: 
- Hemodialysis-related anemia
- Heart failure
- Painful walking due to intermittent claudication
- Head, pancreatic, pharyngeal, colorectal, breast, lung and neck cancers
- Smoking-related mouth sores
- Scar reduction following surgery
There isn't enough evidence to recommend vitamin E use for: 
- Stomach, oral, skin and esophageal cancers
- Menstrual problems
- Leg cramps
- Common cold
These lists are not exhaustive. Contact your physician for more information.
What Is Vitamin E Deficiency and Who Is At Risk?
Vitamin E deficiency isn't a significant problem in the United States, but still, a considerable number could be low on it. Vitamin E deficiency may occur in people who have a problem absorbing fat. 
Signs of vitamin deficiency include: 
- Unstable walking
- Abnormal eye movements
- Vision troubles
- Loss of muscle mass
- Weak muscles
- Kidney and liver problems (due to long-term deficiency)
Vitamin E and Exercise
Many athletes consume vitamin and mineral supplements thinking that they offer some magic power. If only it were that easy. Hard work, a balanced diet of real food, and patience are what counts toward success on the court and field. Unless you are deficient in certain vitamins or minerals, there is no evidence that supplementation will help your athletic performance. 
Things to keep in mind: 
- Vitamins do not provide energy directly. They regulate protein, carbohydrates and fat metabolism, which are the real sources of energy.
- If you progress in your performance with the use of vitamin supplements, it may be that you had been deficient in them before, or you're experiencing a placebo effect.
- If you're concerned about your diet, seek advice from a registered dietician who works with athletes.
- Antioxidant supplementation, vitamin E included, may provide a side benefit to performance by helping to strengthen skeletal muscle and the immune system, but more research is needed.
What Medications May Adversely Interact With Vitamin E?
If you are taking any of the following medications, consult your health care provider before taking vitamin E.
- AZT (HIV/AIDS)
- Bile acid sequestrants (cholesterol)
- Chemotherapy drugs
- Calcium channel blockers
Safety Concerns and Side Effects
Vitamin E supplementation may increase the risk of a hemorrhagic stroke, which is caused by bleeding in the brain. 
- If you have head or neck cancer, heart disease, or diabetes, keep doses under 400 IU daily. 
- High doses of vitamin E may cause serious side effects or death. 
- Do not take excessive amounts of multivitamins besides a vitamin E supplement without consulting your doctor. 
- Side effects of high doses of vitamin E include fatigue, headache, rash, bleeding, nausea, and diarrhea. 
- Do not take vitamin E early in pregnancy without consulting your doctor. 
- Do not take antioxidants, including vitamin E, right before or after an angioplasty.
- If you are low in vitamin K, don't take vitamin E.
- Do not take vitamin E if you have a bleeding disorder.
- Don't take vitamin E if you have prostate cancer.
- Stop taking vitamin E at least two weeks prior to surgery.
- Follow all directions for supplement use.
- Supplements can act like drugs if they are used in large amounts.
- Supplements aren't strictly regulated by the government. Safety and consistency aren't guaranteed, and effects may vary.
- Although we don't sell vitamin E, you can compare quality and price of a variety of brands here at PricePlow.com. Please note that we are not doctors. We take no responsibility for the products listed here since we don't manufacture them.
- Consult other reputable sources such as scientific journals for information on vitamin E before use. Educate yourself about what you put into your body!