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vitamin e supplementVitamin E Fast Facts

Foods: Vegetable oils, seeds, nuts, seafood, wheat germ, green leafy vegetables, apples, carrots, celery

Nutritional & health benefits: improves circulation, aids in wound healing, antioxidant function studied as a cancer fighter

One of vitamin E's main roles in the body is that of antioxidant, which is also the property that makes it so attractive as a supplement.

Antioxidants are good for the body because they neutralize free radicals, which are naturally occurring unstable molecules produced as by-products in the body.

Free radicals cause a wide variety of damage in the body, and can contribute to a number of ailments such as cancer, neurological disease, and heart disease.

Free radicals are also partially responsible for the bodies aging process. Vitamin E's main antioxidant role is to protect cell membranes from damage, but it is likely, though not yet confirmed, that it has a neutralizing effect on the more general negative effects of free radicals.

vitamin e capsules
Immune boosting vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and helps prevent heart disease.

Evidence that vitamin E's antioxidant properties also have a preventative effect on heart disease was revealed in one study of 90,000 nurses showing that a high intake of vitamin E reduced the occurrence of heart disease by 30 to 40 percent, and other studies have had similar results.

There is also some evidence to suggest that vitamin E may help prevent cancer. Several studies have shown that a high intake of vitamin E is associated with a decreased risk of developing a variety of cancers such as prostate, colon, and breast cancer.

Other studies, however, show that vitamin E has little or no effect on the chances of developing cancer, so more research needs to be done before anything conclusive can be said about vitamin E's cancer prevention properties.

For those looking to supplement their diet with more vitamin E, there are a number of options available. Vitamin E is widely available as a vitamin supplement, and it can also be found naturally in a variety of foods such as oils, nuts, and leafy green vegetables like spinach.

More information about vitamin E around the Web:

Vitamin E, Linus Pauling Institute's Micronutrient Information Center
- Comprehensive overview of its antioxidant functions, interaction with other nutrients, conditions and risk factors of deficiency, its use in treatment of cardiovascular disease, cancer and cataracts, drug interactions, and recommended dietary allowances by age level.

Medline Plus Medical Encyclopedia: Vitamin E - General overview with accompanying illustrations, its benefits, good food sources, associations in treatment of disease. - Vitamin E - Report on research suggesting its benefit in treatment of high blood pressure, varicose veins and other circulatory conditions as well as a natural healer of wounds, scarring and sunburn when used externally.

Related Feature Articles:

  Pizza's Anticancer Effects Combat Arthritis with Vitamin C, E
  Sweet Potatoes' Healing Power Food to Fight Diabetes
  Natural Flu Remedies The Common Sense Diet


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