Vitamin E – why does the body need the nutrient?

Father and daughter prepare a salad.

Vitamin E, which is found in vegetable oils and peppers, is good for the cells and important for health.

Vitamin E is considered healthy because it has an antioxidant effect. But what does that mean exactly? And what else is the nutrient good for?

Vitamin E is a collective term for various fat-soluble substances that are chemically similar to one another. The best-known and best-researched of them is the so-called alpha-tocopherol. The body cannot produce it itself, but can absorb it through food, such as vegetable oils and many other foods .

Providing the body with enough vitamin E is vital – because vitamin E plays a crucial role in keeping the organism healthy.

Vitamin E – what is it good for?

Vitamin E is good for the cells – and therefore for all organs and tissues in the body. The nutrient owes its good reputation in particular to its antioxidant effect: Vitamin E protects certain fatty acids against attacks by free radicals. These are aggressive oxygen particles that arise during metabolism, increasingly under harmful influences such as cigarette smoke or UV radiation.

The fatty acids that vitamin E protects from destruction are, among other things, an important building block of human cell membranes, i.e. they are found in the cell membranes. Vitamin E therefore primarily serves to protect cells, for example immune cells.

But this is by no means the end of the vitamin’s function. Researchers are finding out more and more about the other functions that vitamin E fulfills in the human body. It seems to play an important role, especially for the immune system and the cardiovascular system. However, which one has not yet been conclusively investigated.

One thing is certain: the organism needs vitamin E. One thing is also certain: in order to provide the body with sufficient amounts of it, a balanced diet is completely sufficient. According to the German Nutrition Society, adults should consume around 12 to 15 milligrams of vitamin E every day. Just one tablespoon of wheat germ oil is enough: This contains around 200 milligrams of alpha-tocopherol per 100 grams. Accordingly, a 10-gram portion – one tablespoon – provides around 20 milligrams of the nutrient.Vitamin E – good for the skin?
Vitamin E is found in many care products because, according to advertising promises, its antioxidant effect also benefits the skin. It supposedly contributes to their regeneration and healing. It is also said to prevent premature skin aging and even help against scars and certain skin diseases. However, none of this has been proven. The effect of externally applied vitamin E preparations has hardly been researched. You can find out more about this in the article “Is vitamin E good for the skin?” .


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