They are essential for our cells to function properly. They participate in most of the biochemical processes that take place daily in our body, regulate metabolism, facilitate the release of energy, and maintain our good health. There are different vitamins, which are classified into two groups: water-soluble vitamins (water-soluble) and fat-soluble vitamins (fat-soluble). Fat dissolvers are absorbed by the fat and stored in the body. In contrast, water-soluble vitamins (with the exception of vitamin B12) are not stored in the body. This inability to store for a long time as well as the inability of the human body to biosynthesize them makes their daily intake in sufficient quantities necessary.
○ Vitamin Ε
It is one of the most important fat-soluble antioxidants, as it has anti-inflammatory action and stimulates the immune system. At the same time, it has anti-aging properties, as its antioxidant action contributes to the neutralization of free radicals produced daily by our cells, thus protecting the body from oxidative stress, a factor that contributes significantly to most cell diseases. As the main antioxidant, it protects the membrane that surrounds the body’s cells, especially red blood cells and leukocytes (immune system cells). It has been linked by scientific studies of protection against diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, heart disease and eye diseases.
Alzheimer and vitamin E
According to a study published in a prestigious medical journal, the daily intake of vitamin E in patients with mild Alzheimer’s disease significantly slowed the progression of this incurable disease.
- New England Journal of Medicine (1997, 336: 11 – 12)
- (Farina, N., Llewellyn, D., Isaac, M. G. E. K. N., & Tabet, N. (2017). Vitamin E for Alzheimer’s dementia and mild cognitive impairment. In the Cochrane database of systematic reviews (Vol. 4, p. CD002854). https://doi.org/10.1002/14651858.CD002854.pub5)
Cancer and vitamin E
Numerous epidemiological studies have shown that high levels of vitamin E in the blood are associated with lower rates of cancer.
A study found that patients with the highest levels of vitamin E in the blood were 5 times less likely to develop cancer than those with the lowest levels.
- (British J Cancer, 49, 1984, 321-24).
Several studies have confirmed the link between low levels of vitamin E in the blood plasma and the risk of developing many forms of cancer. The research found that this mainly values for epithelial cancers.
- (Intern J Epidem, 17, 1988, 281 86)
- (Brigham and Women’s Hospital. (2019, January 8). Genetics may influence the effects of vitamin E on cancer risk. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 11, 2020 from sciencedaily.com/releases/2019/01/190108125508.htm)
- (Jiang, Q. (2017). Natural Forms of Vitamin E as Effective Agents for Cancer Prevention and Therapy. Advances in Nutrition: An International Review Journal, 8(6), 850–867. https://doi.org/10.3945/an.117.016329).
Heart disease and vitamin E
Vitamin E binds to the free active forms of oxygen in the body, protecting biological indicators from oxidation, which in turn causes both bad cholesterol (LDL) and triglycerides as well as DNA oxidation. Oxidation of biomarkers may have several negative effects, including atherosclerotic plaque. This plaque can lead to problems such as a heart attack or stroke if any parts of it are detached.
A double-blind study found a slowdown in the development of all arterial lesions in men with coronary heart disease who received vitamin E.
- (JAMA, 273(23), 1995, 1849-54).
- (Chae, C. U., Albert, C. M., Moorthy, M. v., Lee, I. M., & Buring, J. E. (2012). Vitamin E supplementation and the risk of heart failure in women. Circulation: Heart Failure, 5(2), 176–182. https://doi.org/10.1161/CIRCHEARTFAILURE.111.963793)
- (Hu, X. X., Fu, L., Li, Y., Lin, Z. B., Liu, X., Wang, J. F., Chen, Y. X., Wang, Z. P., Zhang, X., Ou, Z. J., & Ou, J. S. (2015). The cardioprotective effect of Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is strongly related to age and gender in mice. PLoS ONE, 10(9). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0137405)
Eye & other diseasesand vitamin E
Vitamin E reduces platelet aggregation, prevents blood clots, lowers blood pressure, prevents cataracts, heals, and reduces scarring.
Study by the National Ophthalmological Institute of the USA showed that regular intake of natural vitamin E reduces the risk of cataracts by at least 30%
- (Ophthal, 1998, 831 – 36).
- (Braakhuis, A. J., Donaldson, C. I., Lim, J. C., & Donaldson, P. J. (2019). Nutritional strategies to prevent lens cataract: Current status and future strategies. In Nutrients (Vol. 11, Issue 5). MDPI AG. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11051186)
Rheumatoid arthritis and vitamin E
Vitamin E improves blood circulation, repairing tissue damage and it is useful in treating the pain of rheumatoid arthritis and rheumatoid (ankylosing) spondylitis, as well as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
According to a study of elderly people with respiratory problems, their lung function improved with an increase in vitamin E in their diet.
- (Am J Resp Med, 1996, 154: 1401-04)
- (Chin, K. Y., & Ima-Nirwana, S. (2018). The Role of Vitamin E in Preventing and Treating Osteoarthritis – A Review of the Current Evidence. Frontiers in pharmacology, 9, 946. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2018.00946)
○ Vitamin Κ
It is necessary for blood clotting, preventing bleeding, as it helps to create the prothrombin needed for blood clotting. It also helps to conduct bone mineralization, because it promotes the stabilization of calcium in the bone structure.