As you grow older, your body functions a little less smoothly and you become susceptible to age-related and degenerative diseases. You need to take certain foods that can help counteract the negative effects ageing has on your body.
Given perfect health and a well-balanced diet, you can get all your vitamins, minerals and trace elements (the scientific term used to describe all these is homeostasis) from the food you eat. However, the problem most of you have is that you don’t eat healthily. This coupled with social pressure, work and so on leave you sadly lacking in the vital nutrients that could help keep you in peak condition. Here’s the lowdown on vitamin E.
What is Vitamin’E’? It is a fat soluble vitamin, also known as Alpha-tocopherol. The main role of this vitamin is in its antioxidant properties.
Main functions: It protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) and other components of cellular membranes from oxidation by free radicals. Apart from maintaining the integrity of the cell membranes in the human body, it also protects low density lipoproteins (LDL) from oxidation. It is a protection against poisoning and protects the red blood cells, helping prevent the destruction of vitamin A and C. It synthesises enzymes and proteins in body and is thought by some to be an anti-ageing vitamin.
The vitamin plays a protective role in disorders like inflammation, premenstrual syndrome, circulatory irregularities like nocturnal cramps and also protects against the ill-effects of some carcinogens. It has also been seen that the therapeutic supplementation of vitamin E helps in degenerative diseases such as Parkinsonism.
Deficiencies: Fortunately, Vitamin E deficiency in humans is rare. Evidence of deficiency can be seen in individuals with fat malabsorption i.e, Sprue Disease and fibrocystic disease of the pancreas. Deficiencies display symptoms which may include poor reflexes, decreased sensation in the hands and feet. Mascular (both skeletal and cardiac) degeneration and fragile blood cells leading to anaemia.
Recommended allowances: 8 mg for females and 10 mg for males per day.
Sources:Vitamin E is present in almost all foods.
Good sources: Wheat germ, corn, nuts, olives, spinach, asparagus.
Rich sources:Vegetable oils like groundnut, soya and cotton seeds, safflower.
Note: This information is not intended to prescribe, treat, cure, diagnose or prevent any particular medical problem or disease.”