You’ve probably heard about vitamin E. But you might not know what it is and what it does to benefit your body. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that occurs naturally in a variety of foods including most vegetable oils, nuts and avocados. It is an important nutrient for our largest and most visible organ – our skin.
Vitamin E helps our skin and hair look vibrant and healthy. That’s why many soaps, shampoos and lotions advertise the benefits of their products, some of which are made with nut extracts and avocado oils.
Although vitamin E is not the most important vitamin or mineral for our bodies, vitamin E deficiency can be a huge problem for those who suffer from it. Signs of vitamin E deficiency can include neuromuscular problems, absence of deep tendon reflexes or loss of vibratory sensation. The neurological effects are more pronounced because vitamin E is important for our neurological functions.
We all should get enough vitamin E through a fairly standard diet. Usually there is no need to supplement vitamin E intake, although this can differ for people who have trouble processing it.
According to the National Institutes of Health, vitamin E “protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, which are molecules that contain an unshared electron. Free radicals damage cells and might contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer.”
The body is also exposed to these free radicals from environmental exposures, such as cigarette smoke, air pollution and ultraviolet radiation from the sun. Free radicals are thought to play a role in the way aging affects our bodies. Those with healthful levels of vitamin E may expect better skin and fewer wrinkles as they age.