Vitamin E, or alpha-tocopherol, is a leading antioxidant. Vitamin E helps ease respiratory problems, and may also prevent some of the damage that diabetes does to the body, particularly to the eyes. It also boosts your immune systemís ability to fight off infectious diseases by increasing levels of interferon and interleukin, the biochemicals that are produced by the immune system to fight infection.
Vitamin E protects the body from oxidation, a normal aging process by which oxygen breaks down the bodyís tissues. It works to neutralize free radicals, which are naturally occurring unstable molecules that can damage your bodyís healthy molecules by taking electrons to balance themselves. When enough vitamin E is present in the body, unstable free radicals get their electrons from the vitamin E molecules and leave the healthy molecules alone, thus causing less damage to tissues.
Vitamin E is being tested as a treatment for many chronic diseases for the elderly, including Alzheimerís, macular degeneration, osteoarthritis, and prostate enlargement. And it is thought that this powerful antioxidant may help keep some types of cancer from developing.
Vitamin E is also an effective anti-inflammatory, and may help to prevent sun damage. Vitamin E oil (available at drugstores) containing at least 5 percent vitamin E can help prevent inflammation and skin damage if applied within eight hours after sun exposure. Do not apply the cream before going into the sun, as vitamin E reacts to UV rays in a way that will speed up rather than slow down the oxidation process.
Vitamin E, part 2