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Health Benefits of Vitamin E
Vitamin E, a fat-soluble antioxidant, can only be obtained as a food supplement, but has widely-known health benefits for the skin, heart and brain. Deficiency of vitamin E is rarely naturally-occurring, but when it does appear, it is typically caused by fat malabsorption disorders or genetic abnormalities. Vitamin E is well-known in the cosmetic world for its skin benefits, but also protects against toxins that can deteriorate the eyes and brain.
Skin Health Benefits
Consumers have long had a strong perception that vitamin E is good for their skin. Therefore, consumers are hard-pressed to find a lotion or skin cream that doesn’t contain it. However, according to Steve O’Brien, technical sales director, Nutralliance, vitamin E is expensive, so the personal care industry uses synthetic, due to cost and “acetate” form for stability.
According to Rausch, oxidative stress is caused by reactive oxygen species (ROS) generation. UV exposure enhances these cells, causing damage and aging to skin. The use of antioxidants, of which vitamin E is one of the strongest, is an effective approach to prevent symptoms related to photo-induced aging of the skin. Treatment with vitamin E, ascorbic acid, carotenoids and polyphenols has proven effective in enhancing resistance to oxidative stress and naturally protecting skin from disease and deterioration.
Not only does vitamin E application protect skin from damage, it also can reduce already existing damage, such as lines, wrinkles and roughness, according to Fulzele.
Heart Health Benefits
Vitamin E helps protect cells from oxidative stress and, according to Rausch, it plays a crucial role in preventing low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol from oxidation. Lycored offers Cardiomato, a heart health product combining tomato-derived carotenoids, vitamin E and synergistic phytosterols. According to Rausch, a study conducted by Lycored of 150 healthy men and women supplemented with Cardiomate for two weeks showed those who used the product had lower levels of LDL cholesterol, which is the form found to be most damaging.
Other Health Benefits
There is interest in research regarding vitamin E’s ability to support brain health, and some studies have shown tocotrienols at very low-level concentrations exert protective effects against stroke-induced injuries in brain cells. This may reduce risk for neurodegenerative diseases and, according to Billecke, various intake and circulating levels of different forms of the vitamin have been observed to influence risk of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.