Vitamin E

Vitamin E is used to refer to a group of fat-soluble compounds that include both tocopherols and tocotrienols.[1] There are many different forms of vitamin E, of which γ-tocopherol is the most common in the North American diet.[2] γ-Tocopherol can be found in corn oil, soybean oil, margarine and dressings.[3][4] α-Tocopherol, the most biologically active form of vitamin E, is the second most common form of vitamin E in the North American diet. This variant of vitamin E can be found most abundantly in wheat germ oil, sunflower, and safflower oils.[4][5] It is a fat-soluble antioxidant that stops the production of reactive oxygen species formed when fat undergoes oxidation.[6][7][8]

Health effects

The first use for vitamin E as a therapeutic agent was conducted in 1938 by Widenbauer. Widenbauer used wheat germ oil supplement on 17 premature new born infants suffering from growth failure. Eleven out of the original 17 patients recovered and were able to resume normal growth rates.[35] Later on, in 1948, while conducting experiments on alloxan effects on rats, Gyorge and Rose noted that the rats receiving tocopherol supplements suffered from less hemolysis than those that did not receive tocopherol.[36] In 1949, Gerloczy administered all-rac-α-tocopheryl acetate to prevent and cure edema. Methods of administration used were both oral, that showed positive response, and intramuscular, which did not show a response.[35] This early investigative work on the benefits of vitamin E supplementation was the gateway to curing the vitamin E deficiency caused hemolytic anemia described during the 1960s. Since then, supplementation of infant formulas with vitamin E has eradicated this vitamin’s deficiency as a cause for hemolytic anemia.[35] The consensus in the medical community is that there is no good evidence to support health benefits from vitamin E supplementation in the short term, nor is there good evidence to support adverse effects on health. While some argue that taking more than 400 IU of vitamin E per day for extended periods may increase the risk of death[37] others have shown that taking up to 5,500 IU per day has no adverse effects on health.[38][39][40][41][42]


{Information courtesy Wikipedia}