Pure vitamin E oil is present in many nail and skin care products. Vitamin E refers to a group of fat-soluble compounds that have distinct antioxidant activities. A lot of research has been done on the benefits of the vitamin, most of them ending up in inconclusive findings. However, it is generally accepted that the vitamin is one of the most beneficial vitamins when it comes to skin care and preventing neurological diseases.
Vitamin E promotes healing and helps to prevent aging thanks to its strong antioxidant properties. One of the main symptoms of aging is wrinkling of the skin. Wrinkles may form as a result of poor health habits such as excess drinking and smoking, improper skin care, exposure to ultraviolet rays, air pollution and damage by free radicals. The compound blocks free radicals and in turn prevents that formation of wrinkles. It also stimulates the production of collagen, a connective tissues that keeps the skin elastic, and in turn prevents the formation of wrinkles. It also supports the growth of new skin cells and speeds up cell generation.
The vitamin is commonly available in drug stores and can be purchased in either capsule or liquid form. Capsules can be punctured to releases the oil for topical application.
Some foods contain the vitamin naturally, some have it added in them and it can also be available through diet supplements. Various foods have varying amounts of the vitamin. Some of the best food sources for the vitamin include vegetable oils, soybeans, corn, and canola. Other common sources include wheat germ oil, dry roasted sun flower seeds, dry roasted almonds, sunflower oil, safflower oil, dry roasted hazelnuts, peanut butter, dry roasted peanuts, corn oil, boiled spinach, kiwifruit, mangoes, raw tomatoes and raw spinach.
Symptoms of Vitamin E Deficiency
People with severe malnutrition or genetic defects that affect the transportation or absorption of the vitamin exhibit a number of symptoms. Children with cholestatic liver disease or cystic fibrosis may develop deficiency.
Severe insufficient amounts of the compund may lead to many neurological symptoms such as muscle weakness and impaired balance and coordination. Nervous system problems that result due to deficiency of the vitamin in the body are especially common in babies and can make them develop neurological symptoms for 10 to 20 years.
People With Vitamin E Deficiency
If your liver has poor capabilities to absorb fats, you should consider getting extra vitamin E to avoid deficiency. You should also take extra amounts of the compound if you:
- Have hyperthyroidism
- Have celiac disease
- Have cystic fibrosis
- Have recently undergone surgery
- Are under stress for long periods
- Have recent burns or injuries
- Have liver, pancreatic or gallbladder diseases
- Frequently abuse alcohol or other drugs
- Have a chronic wasting disease
True deficiency of the vitamin is rare as most common foods contain the vitamin in small amounts that are sufficient for any healthy person.
Side Effects of Vitamin E
Side effects resulting from use of the vitamin are not common. However, some people may experience some allergic reactions after taking the vitamin. Some of the side effects include:
- Breathing difficulties
- Headaches and blurred vision
- Nausea and diarrhea
Health Benefits of Vitamin E
The vitamin helps in formation of red blood cells and helps the body to use vitamin K more effectively. The vitamin is also involved in the functioning of the immune system and protection of nerve cells and neurons. A number of studies have led researchers to believe that the vitamin can delay or prevent coronary heart diseases. LDL cholesterol, also known as bad cholesterol, blocks the coronary arteries and this can lead to heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
Some of the diseases those vitamins E can help to delay or protect against include:
- Coronary Heart Diseases—It prevents the formation of blood clots which can lead to a heart attack.
- Hair and skin care—It is used in many hair and skin care products. Studies have shown it may help in eczema, it keeps the skin young and promotes healing.
- Cuticles—It could help in treatment of cracked, dry cuticles. The oil rehydrates and smoothens the nail cuticles and prevents them from future cracks.
- Cancer—The vitamin protects the cell from damaging effects caused by free radicals that could lead to formation of cancer.
- Eye disorders—It could be used to prevent age-related macular degeneration (AMD), which is mainly responsible for loss of vision among older people.
- Cognitive decline—It may provide protection against cognitive decline and neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s.
- Scar tissues—The vitamin can help in the healing of scars from surgeries, old wounds and burns. The vitamin stimulates the production of collages, which gives the skin its elastic property and not present in scar tissue.
The vitamin is used as a home remedy for stretch marks, burns and scars. However, it has not been proven effective at reducing the thickness of scars or improving their appearance. Moreover, during some studies, some people developed dermatitis from topical application of vitamin E oil. It is recommended that you test the oil on a small part of your skin before you use it for the whole body.
It is worth noting that studies carried out test the health benefits of the compound have resulted to inconclusive findings. Most of the health benefits, especially with regards to prevention of diseases have been subjects of debates among researchers.