Vitamin E Benefits

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble body that serves as an antioxidant and protects cells from the harmful and damaging effects of free radicals; this function is perhaps the most important of the many vitamin E benefits.

Free radicals can damage not only the cell membrane but the cell metabolism in general.

Some of the food sources of vitamin E are fortified cereals, almonds, Brazil nuts, cashew nuts, vegetable oils, and green leafy vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and Swiss chards.

Vitamin E RDA

Recent U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) guidelines recommend that the daily intake of vitamin E of a person should be met primarily through food sources. However, most individuals require certain supplements in order to get a sufficient amount of vitamin E. These supplements normally contain 400 IU to 800 IU. Adults are advised by the Institute of Medicine to have a daily consumption of 1500 IU of vitamin E.

The Recommended Dietary Intake for Vitamin E is as follows:


FEMALES (mg/day); IU/day

MALES (mg/day); IU/day

Infants 0-6 months 4 mg (6 IU) 4 mg (6 IU)
Infants 7-12 months 5 mg (7.5 IU) 5 mg (7.5 IU)
1 to 3 years 6 mg (9 IU) 6 mg (9 IU)
4 to 8 years 7 mg (10.5 IU) 7 mg (10.5 IU)
9 to 13 years 11 mg (16.5 IU) 11 mg (16.5 IU)
14 to 18 years 15 mg (22.5 IU) 15 mg (22.5 IU)
19 years and older 15 mg (22.5 IU) 15 mg (22.5 IU)
Pregnant 15 mg (22.5 IU)
Lactating 19 mg (28.5 IU)

Vitamin E Benefits

Several scientific studies are suggesting the supplements of vitamin E offer numerous health benefits that include aiding in reducing the risk of cancer, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Johns Hopkins University conducted a study that was published in the Journal of Archives of Neurology in 2004, found that 4,740 of both men and women who are 65 years and above and are having a daily consumption of 400-1000 IU of Vitamin E and 500-1500 mg of vitamin C have reduced risk and prevalence of Alzheimer disease.  Other health benefits of Vitamins E and C are that they are linked with maintaining the health of brain cells. A John Hopkins meta-analysis found in November 2004 older patients, who are about 47-84 years of age, with existing conditions such as kidney disease, Parkinson’s disease, and heart disease, who have a daily consumption of more than 400 IUs of vitamin E had an increased risk of all-cause mortality. However, the study concluded that “high dosage vitamin E trials were often performed in patients with various chronic diseases, and we could not evaluate the generalizability of our findings to healthy adult populations.” Other Vitamin E benefits include their use in acne prevention and skin care.

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is primarily a family of eight antioxidants, which are four tocotrienols (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-) and four tocopherols (alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-). Because of this, vitamin E is widely used for its antioxidant health benefits and is included in every dietary supplement, as well as in numerous skin and anti-aging products. Dietary sources of vitamin E include green leafy vegetables such as endive, artichokes, cauliflower, spinach, kale, and lettuce; nuts; beans; and fishes such as sardines and rockfish (full list here).

Vitamin E References and Further Reading

Office of Dietary Supplements; Pubmed; Harvard University; Oregon State University.