What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is present in nature in eight forms and belongs to the group of "fat-soluble" vitamins (which includes vitamin A, D and K): that is, a type of vitamin that can be absorbed by humans only if present in fat.
Unlike water-soluble vitamins, i.e. vitamins capable of dissolving in water, fat-soluble vitamins are absorbed and stored in real reserves by the body. Of the eight vitamins of the "fat-soluble" group (alpha, beta, gamma, delta-tocotrienols), it seems that the only one that seems to be used by our body is alpha-tocopherol.
Properties of vitamin E
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant, able to help our body in cell regeneration, and is present in many foods: for example in tomato sauce, turnip tops, dried fruit such as hazelnuts, almonds and pine nuts, seeds of sunflower, in basil, spinach, pumpkin or asparagus and finally in the delicious olives.
Vitamin E is functional to the body in counteracting the action of free radicals and slowing down the ageing process.
This is the reason why vitamin E is included in many creams and cosmetic products, created to reduce wrinkles and signs of aging. As demonstrated by some in vitro experiments, this vitamin also has significant effects in promoting our body's immune defense: it allows and increases the exchange between cells and is involved in metabolic processes.
For these reasons it is believed that vitamin E can play a very important role in the fight against Alzheimer's, that is, in the case of neurodegenerative diseases.
Valuable help is provided in the fight against free radicals, molecules that damage cells, causing possible cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. They can come from different sources: cigarette smoke, pollution, lifestyle.
In the case of vitamin deficiencies, problems of irritability, tiredness, apathy, muscle weakness could occur. Generally problems with peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy or impaired immune response.
According to recent studies, the daily requirement of an adult man, for the Italian population, is satisfied with 8 mg of vitamin E. Clearly these are data subject to change and variables from case to case. Experts advise never to go below 3 mg levels for women and below 4 mg levels for men.
Supplements usually have a very low dose of Vitamin E, which must be integrated with food: we are talking about 1 mg per tablet.
Several studies have shown that a correct intake of vitamin E can decrease the cases of heart disease; a study of about 90,000 nurses showed that the incidence of heart disease would have been lower (up to 40%) in people with a higher index of vitamin E, taken in the form of supplements. In vitro tests also show that vitamin E helps fight coronary heart disease (CHD).
In the fight against cancer, a preventive fight, this vitamin could also block the formation of carcinogenic nitrosamines, which are formed in the stomach by exploiting the presence of nitrites, contained in food.
According to statistics, the incidence of prostate and breast cancer is lower. According to the "Dietary Guidelines for Americans" (a food guide for Americans), the need for nutrients should be met primarily through our diet.
Foods provide a wide range of nutrients, which are really beneficial to health. to this end, it is important to follow a healthy and balanced diet, free of excesses and saturated fats.