Vitamin E

Vitamin E has antioxifant properties and provides many health and beauty benefits. It supports cardiac health by helping maintain healthy cholesterol levels and helps protect the body of free radicals, which enhances the body's immune system.

Applying vitamin E topically on the skin can help remove stretch marks and scars. It can also help relieve burns and can help prevent the formation of lines and wrinkles caused by aging.

This critical antioxidant serves many functions, but more is not always better. Many nutrients (such as beta carotene) are part of a larger "family," so taking very high doses of only one type can actually suppress the others and become problematic. This is the case with vitamin E as well, as there are many types of tocopherols. Research suggests that taking over 150 units a day can actually be problematic, so I recommend taking 100 units a day as the optimal level in multi-vitamins. If you are taking higher levels to treat a specific problem, take it for only a few months and use natural vitamin E (mixed tocopherols) which contains all of the different types of vitamin E.

Although more is not better, deficiency is a significant problem. For example, research suggests that 91% of 2-5 year olds are vitamin E deficient. Taking vitamin E (200 units twice a day) can also significantly reduce the severity and duration of menstrual period pain. Vitamin E in optimal doses (about 100 units a day) may also be cancer protective. Adequate vitamin E may also decrease the risk of breast cancer.

Given the above, one could argue that you'd need to be demented not to get adequate antioxidant support. I guess it's not surprising then, that in a study on 1,033 people aged 65 years and older, low plasma levels of vitamin E were found to be associated with a more than doubled risk of becoming demented and of suffering from cognitive impairment!

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