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Vitamin E Fact Sheet

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Tocopherol: Learn All About Vitamin E

Vitamin E, also known as tocopherol, is a fat-soluble compound that is available naturally in some foods, may be added to some foods during processing and is also available in a range of dietary supplements. The concentration of Vit E in the body depends on how well the liver is functioning, so if a person has liver problems, they should consult their doctor regarding their ideal intake.


Vitamin E is known to assist with immune function as well as protecting cell membranes and red blood cells from oxidation. This anti-oxidant effect is thought to be important in protecting the body from free radicals that may contribute to cancer or cardiovascular disease.

Food Source

Tocopherol can be found in most vegetable oils, nuts and seeds. Wheat germ, poultry and eggs also contain small amounts of this important vitamin.

RDI (Recommended Daily Intake)

The recommended daily intake of vitamin E; as with all vitamins varies for men and women. It is recommended that men consume at least 10mg daily. For women, 7mg is thought to be a sufficient daily dose.

Food Portion Guide

It is easy to ensure you are getting your daily fix of tocopherol just by including a few healthy nuts and seeds into your daily diet. For example, just 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds will provide approximately 7.6mg of vitamin E.

Possible Symptoms of Deficiency

Vit E deficiency is very rare in healthy people. Most people can obtain enough tocopherol from their usual diet. Due to the fact that absorption relies also on fat absorption, people with disorders of the liver (such as Crohn’s disease or cystic fibrosis) or issues with fat mal-absorption (such as abetalipoproteinemia) may require supplements. People suffering from a deficiency may display symptoms such as peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy ad an impaired immune system.

Possible Side Effects Of Overdose

Research suggests that it is near impossible to consume to much vitamin E from consuming natural food sources, however excess doses via supplements could result in an increased risk of haemorrhagic stroke and may affect platelet aggregation.

In summary, a healthy balanced diet including small portions of vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, wheat germ, poultry or eggs will result in the ideal daily dose is being achieved.

If you are concerned that your vitamin E levels are not within normal ranges, consult your Doctor immediately as it may also be an indication of other underlying health issues.


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