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Natural Health Glossary
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vitamin e
Vitamin E is used by the body to maintain healthy nerves, heart, and reproductive system. It is also necessary for muscle and red blood cell development and normal reproduction. It helps repair tears in the plasma membranes that protect cells from outside forces and screen what enters and exits.

Vitamin E is one of the fat-soluble vitamins (along with vitamin A, vitamin D, and vitamin K). It is an antioxidant that stops the production of reactive oxygen species formed when fat undergoes oxidation.

Deficiency causes excessively dry skin in some individuals.

Vitamin E is is made up of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). γ-Tocopherol, found in corn oil, soybean oil, margarine and dressings, is common in the Canadian diet. α-Tocopherol is the most biologically active form of vitamin E. It can be found in wheat germ oil, sunflower, and safflower oils.

α-Tocopherol is an important lipid-soluble antioxidant. It regulates smooth muscle growth and enzymatic activities. γ-Tocopherol donates an electron-pair to help neutralize electrophile mutagens (free radicals) in the body.
Other sources of vitamin E include: green leafy vegetables (e.g. lettuce, spinach, turnip, beet, collard, and dandelion greens), broccoli, asparagus, avocado, pumpkin, mangoes, papayas, sweet potatoes, nuts (almonds, hazelnuts), nut oils, and tomatoes.

Deficiency results in: the inability to absorb fat, reproductive problems (e.g ovarian cysts), hemolytic anemia, erythrocyte hemolysis, and/or spinocerebellar disorder. (varieties of anemia and loss of muscle coordination.)

Excess results in: muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. can also react negatively with vitamin k, but you have to ingest extreme quantities - in excess of 800 IU/day.

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