We often see vitamin E in creams for the face and body as well as in the list of ingredients for many foods, this is because Vitamin E is an antioxidant, and protects cells from damage due to oxidation. In the foods that we buy this means that they stay fresh and in good condition for longer, and in our bodies it means that the cells do not get damaged and wear out so quickly, helping us to stay healthier and even reducing the risk of developing some forms of cancer.
A diet rich in Vitamin E is believed to be useful in reducing heart disease: it can reduce the amount of LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides in the bloodstream, and can prevent LDL cholesterol from sticking to the artery walls and slowly blocking the flow of blood. It can also increase the amount of HDL (or good) cholesterol. Vitamin E has also been shown to maintain the immune system in the elderly, thereby helping the body to fight off bacteria and viruses. Vitamin E is also useful in preventing damage in certain parts of the body, particularly in the eyes and the nervous system, lessening the incidence of both Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
The highest amounts of vitamin E found in our diet come from vegetable oils, such as sunflower oil or olive oil, but nuts, kiwi fruit and green leafy vegetables also provide a reasonable quantity. There are many supplements on the market, but it might be best to take D-alpha tocoferol – the natural source Vitamin E.
See the rest of our series on vitamins here
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