To date, it has been proven that not one, but a whole group of fat-soluble compounds belongs to the category of “vitamin E”.
So far, 8 varieties of this substance have been discovered: alpha-tocopherol, beta-, delta- or gamma-tocopherol, as well as alpha-tocotrienol, delta-, beta- and gamma variants. All of them are insoluble in water, but they are very soluble in fats, they have similar antioxidant functions in the body, found only in different foods.
The most suitable form of vitamin E, which covers all human needs, is alpha-tocopherol.
What does antioxidant mean?
In the body, during metabolic processes, free radicals are formed – these are chemically active compounds with an extra electron that is cut off by the atom. They destroy cell membranes, form inflammatory, autoimmune and cancerous lesions and are associated with premature aging processes. Substances with antioxidant action bind and neutralize free radicals, thus protecting the body’s cells.
Vitamin E, along with many other natural compounds with antioxidant activity, helps maintain youth, beauty and health. It comes with food, working inside the body. In addition, the addition of vitamin E to creams, lotions, ointments or gels helps to protect the skin.
However, it is important to understand that even the most beneficial compound can be harmful if taken in excessive amounts, and this is absolutely true of vitamin E. Given that it is a fat-soluble substance, tocopherol can accumulate in the body. There are mixed data on its negative properties and the dangers of using it in high concentrations.
Let’s discuss why we need vitamin E, what problems it can solve and how it can be dangerous for the female body?
Foods and Supplements – Sources of Vitamin E.
It is important to know that only a very limited number of people need vitamin E supplements. Most women who follow a healthy and varied diet get enough tocopherol from their food. And excessive intake of this vitamin can be a bigger problem than a slight deficiency.
Among the food sources of tocopherol, the leaders are nuts and seeds, in fruits and vegetables is much less. This is due to the fact that the vitamin dissolves in organic oils. Regular intake of this compound helps the female body to defend itself against various health problems.
Fighting chronic diseases
Due to its antioxidant properties, tocopherol actively neutralizes free radicals that damage the body’s cells. Scientists have linked free radical damage to pathologies such as dementia, bronchial asthma, oncological diseases and vascular damage. Accordingly, the intake of vitamin E reduces the risk of these diseases, helps in their complex treatment.
Maintaining the health of the immune system
Adequate intake of vitamin E helps the immune system function, maintaining protection against viruses and germs. This is because tocopherol increases the protection of immune cells – lymphocytes – from the effects of free radicals. Regular intake of vitamin E and sclerosis contribute to the serious strengthening of the immune system.
Normalize blood flow
According to studies, this is achieved due to the anti-inflammatory action of vitamin E, blocks the metabolism of arachidonic acid, a substance that synthesizes inflammatory mediators that reduce the lumen of blood vessels, thicken the blood and cause inflammation.
Not only does vitamin A help maintain clear vision, but tocopherol also plays an important role in this. Damage to the retina and other structures of the eye is closely related to the effect of free radicals. By neutralizing these compounds, vitamin E helps maintain vision. There is evidence that taking a prophylactic dose of vitamin E in patients with primary cataracts can significantly slow its development.
Protect the skin from UV rays
According to recent research, oral vitamin E supplements, along with ascorbic acid, help protect the skin from damage to epidermal DNA due to sun exposure. But this does not mean that they replace the cream with SPF. The effects of vitamins are not so great, so you should always use protective equipment.
Initially, during the study of this vitamin, it was found that its deficiency negatively affects a woman’s ability to conceive and conceive. In its absence, infertility, menstrual disorders and miscarriages and premature births often occur. However, modern women get enough tocopherol with food, so its effect on reproductive functions is no longer so important today.
In addition, doctors say that today there is no need to take high doses of vitamin E during the programming period, the usual daily dose is quite enough.
Studies have found that in people with Cowden syndrome, an inherited condition that causes multiple benign soft tissue tumors, vitamin E can reduce their risk of developing cancer. Moderate doses of tocopherol (400 IU) help protect cells from tumor degeneration, reducing the risk of lung cancer and other forms. But it has also been found that shock doses of this vitamin can themselves cause cancerous degeneration.
Vitamin E for the skin
Apart from taking it orally, it is not uncommon for vitamin E to be applied to the skin. Contained in many medical and cosmetic products used in dermatology to care for normal and sensitive, allergic skin, it helps fight age-related changes. The benefits of topical vitamin E are mainly cosmetic and have limited scientific support.
The potential benefits of creams and other vitamin E supplements come from two main factors:
- antioxidant propertiesActively fights skin inflammation and neutralizes free radicals that break down cell membranes.
- moisturizing properties. It can be used as a moisturizer to prevent or treat dry, flaky skin.
Some research shows that tocopherol supplements can help heal wounds. It is possible that topical application may offer similar benefits, but research into this is rare.
Treatment and prevention of dermatological diseases
Individually selected doses of vitamin E partially eliminate the symptoms of allergic reactions, skin infections or other problems that cause itching. Tocopherol moisturizes the skin, which can provide temporary relief from the itching caused by dryness.
Vitamin E can reduce dryness, itching and flaking associated with eczema or atopic dermatitis. Taking vitamin E has been found to relieve the symptoms of eczema. The addition of tocopherol to creams and lotions for atopic skin has similar effects.
There is also evidence that topical application of vitamin E helps treat psoriasis. However, the effect of the skin processes was not as strong as most of the available treatments. This treatment may be an option for people who want to avoid medication and have mild psoriasis.
On dry and dehydrated skin, wrinkles appear more intensely than on well-hydrated skin. Tocopherol use helps the skin look younger by reducing the depth of wrinkles. But claims that vitamin E prevents or eliminates wrinkles are not supported by scientific evidence. The best strategy to prevent wrinkles is to protect yourself from the sun and use quality sunscreen, regular face and body care.
Risks of taking vitamin E.
The greatest risk associated with the use of synthetic vitamin E is an acute allergic reaction. When applied topically, tocopherol can irritate the skin, exacerbating skin problems. People with a history of allergic reactions should avoid using this vitamin on the skin or try a small area of skin first.
When taken orally, overdose is more dangerous if it is a long-term high dose. Therefore, the course of treatment should be chosen by a doctor, doses should not exceed 800-1000 IU per day and the duration should not exceed 2 weeks.