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Research has shown that vitamin E helps the body ward off many diseases, and it protects cells from certain kinds of damage, which helps them live longer. The effect of this protection over time is that vitamin E helps slow down the cell damage that happens naturally as we age.
Vitamin E protects the body against some disorders and helps treat others.
This is a partial list of these disorders.
Vitamin E also helps in other ways.
Foods that contain a significant amount of vitamin E include: nuts (including almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts) as well as sunflower seeds, corn-oil margarine, mayonnaise, cold-pressed vegetable oils, including corn, safflower, soybean, cottonseed, canola, and wheat germ (the richest one), spinach and kale, sweet potatoes, and yams.
You can choose between natural and synthetic forms of vitamin E. Health care providers usually recommend natural vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol). The synthetic form is called dl-alpha-tocopherol.
Vitamin E comes as softgels, tablets and capsules. You will find them in doses that include 50 IU, 100 IU, 200 IU, 400 IU, 500 IU, 600 IU, and 1,000 IU.
For people who have trouble digesting fats, vitamin E succinate ("dry-E") is best.
How to Take It
For the prevention and treatment of disease, adults should take between 200 IU and 400 IU of vitamin E daily with water, preferably after eating.
As with all medicines and supplements, check with a health care provider before giving vitamin E supplements to a child.
Vitamin E is generally nontoxic. In high doses (more than 1,200 IU daily) it can cause nausea, gas, diarrhea, and heart palpitations.
Check with your health care provider before taking vitamin E under the following conditions.
Taking vitamin E at the same time as warfarin, a blood-thinning medication, increases the risk of abnormal bleeding.
A class of cholesterol-lowering medications called bile-acid sequestrants (such as colestipol and cholestyramine) diminishes the absorption of vitamin E.
Vitamin E interacts with cyclosporine, a medication used for the treatment of cancer, reducing the effectiveness of both this supplement and this medication.
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