Vitamin E

The A-B-C's of Vitamin Supplements

Peer Reviewed

The letter E made out of vitamin e capsulesVitamin E may help protect the body in different ways, such as by slowing down age-related cell damage.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that may help prevent cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, anemia, cataracts, age-related diseases (such as Alzheimer's), and macular degeneration (affects the retinal and vascular membranes in the eyes).

  • As an antioxidant, vitamin E inhibits the oxidation of fats and the formation of free radicals, thereby protecting cell integrity. This means healthy cells live longer and cell damage is slowed.

The body uses vitamin E to boost its immune system so that it can fight off invading bacteria and viruses.

Dosage Guidelines
Vitamin E is composed of eight related but different molecules divided into two groups: tocopherols and tocotrienols. The alpha-tocopherol form (synthetic vitamin E) is the strongest.
Vitamin E TableThis vitamin is available in soft gel, capsule, and tablet form in the following doses: 50 IU, 100 IU, 200 IU, 400 IU, 500 IU, 600 IU, and 1,000 IU. Always take vitamin E with water at mealtime.

Consult a medical professional prior to giving a child vitamin E. See Cautions below for possible complications.

Sources of Vitamin E
Vitamin E is found in the following foods: cold-pressed vegetable oils, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts, walnuts), sunflower seeds, mayonnaise, spinach, kale, asparagus, sweet potatoes, organ meats, watercress, and eggs.

If anticoagulant medications, (blood thinners such as warfarin) are taken, consult a medical professional prior to taking vitamin E. The vitamin inhibits the body's ability to absorb vitamin K (aids in blood clotting), which may increase the risk of abnormal bleeding.

Persons diagnosed with diabetes, heart disease (eg, high blood pressure), or an overactive thyroid should consult a medical professional before taking vitamin E supplements.

People undergoing chemotherapy or radiation should not take vitamin E before discussing with a medical professional.

Although vitamin E is general nontoxic, high doses may increase the force of heart contractions resulting in palpitations. Other symptoms may include diarrhea, gas, and nausea.

If you are taking both vitamin E and iron supplements, take them at different times of the day.

Disclaimer: Many people report feeling improvement in their condition and/or general well-being taking dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements. The Editorial Board of, however, cannot endorse such products since most lack peer-reviewed scientific validation of their claims. In most cases an appropriate diet and a "multiple vitamin" will provide the necessary dietary supplements for most individuals. Prior to taking additional dietary, vitamin, mineral, and/or herbal supplements it is recommended that patients consult with their personal physician to discuss their specific supplement requirements.

Updated on: 03/09/16
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Vitamin C
Thomas G. Lowe, MD
While some patients have reported improvement after taking this supplement, the Editorial Board is unable to endorse the supplement due to the lack of peer reviewed scientific literature indicating its efficacy for treating spinal conditions. Patients should consult their physician before starting a supplement program.
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Vitamin C

Vitamin C is also known as ascorbic acid. It is an antioxidant essential for tissue growth and repair. The body cannot produce vitamin C, and since it is water-soluble and not stored, it must be obtained from food and supplements.
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