Vitamin E is a powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant that is vital to optimum health. It is found in nature as a complex of eight separate compounds (four tocopherols and four tocotrienols), each with important functions in the body. I recommend avoiding synthetic versions of vitamin E (for example, dl-alpha tocopherol), and using products that contain the full complex.
In the body, vitamin E:
- Helps support cell membranes and protect against damage by free radicals.
- Is necessary for structural and functional maintenance of skeletal, cardiac, and smooth muscle cells.
- Assists in the formation of new red blood cells and helps to maintain stores of vitamins A and K, iron, and selenium.
People taking blood thinners or aspirin should consult with their doctor about vitamin E to avoid potential drug interactions. If you do supplement with vitamin E, take it with a meal that contains some fat to aid in its absorption. You can obtain natural vitamin E in foods such as nuts, spinach, sunflower seeds, wheat germ, and whole grains.
Everyone's dietary needs are different based on a number of factors including lifestyle, diet, medications and more. To find out what vitamins you need, take the Weil Vitamin Advisor. This 3-step questionnaire requires just minutes to complete, and generates a free, no-obligation vitamin and nutritional supplement recommendation that is personalized to meet your unique nutritional needs.
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