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Vitamin E Part 2The best natural source of vitamin E is vegetable oil, but it is also found in nuts, wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, spinach, lettuce, onions, blackberries, apples, and pears.
However, because it can be difficult to get the amount of vitamin E needed from food, you may wish to take a vitamin E supplement. There are eight different forms of the vitamin E, but look for the bottle labeled d-alpha-tocopherol, as it is this form that makes the most vitamin E available to your body.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble substance, and excess amounts of this nutrient are stored in the body. However, unlike vitamin A and vitamin D, extra vitamin E stored in the body has not proven to be toxic. Infants with low birth weight, people with cystic fibrosis, and anorexics, or anyone with a condition that interferes with the proper absorption of fat, may need more than the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of this vitamin.
The RDA for adult males is 30 IU, and 24 IU for adult females. Women need an additional 6 IU each day during pregnancy, and an extra 9 IU per day if breastfeeding. People over the age of 55, smokers, and those who abuse alcohol may need to take vitamin E supplements.
However, most healthy individuals could benefit from taking this vitamin supplement. Some studies show that as much as 200 to 800 IU is needed to prevent disease and obtaining vitamin e in such amounts through dietary sources alone would be difficult.
There are some serious risks associated with taking too much vitamin E. More than 2,400 IU per day may cause bleeding problems due to its clot-preventing ability. People who are already taking anticoagulants (blood thinner) for a heart condition should not take vitamin E supplements.
Vitamin E can also interfere with the body’s absorption of vitamin K, which is involved in blood coagulation. Too much vitamin E may also reduce your body’s supply of vitamin A, alter the immune system, and impair sexual function.
Return to Vitamin E, part 1
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