There are many people who are believers in taking a daily supplement of vitamin E and I am one of them. The recommended daily dose for adults is 15mg or 22.5IU; the recommended daily dose for children is much lower, children 1-3 years, 6 mg/day (9 IU/day), children 4-8 years, 7 mg/day (10.5 IU/day)and, children 9-13 years, 11 mg/day (16.5 IU/day) however, it is probably not necessary for a healthy child to take an additional supplement of vitamin E if they are already taking a multivitamin. Additionally, vitamin E is safe for most and side effects are rarely experienced when taking the recommended doses.
It is important to note that some people take vitamin E to treat vitamin E deficiency which is rare. “people with fat-malabsorption disorders are more likely to become deficient than people without such disorders. Deficiency symptoms include peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, skeletal myopathy, retinopathy, and impairment of the immune response. People with Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or an inability to secrete bile from the liver into the digestive tract, for example, often pass greasy stools or have chronic diarrhea; as a result, they sometimes require water-soluble forms of vitamin E, such as tocopheryl polyethylene glycol-1000 succinate.
Some people with abetalipoproteinemia, a rare inherited disorder resulting in poor absorption of dietary fat, require enormous doses of supplemental vitamin E (approximately 100 mg/kg or 5–10 g/day). Vitamin E deficiency secondary to abetalipoproteinemia causes such problems as poor transmission of nerve impulses, muscle weakness, and retinal degeneration that leads to blindness. Ataxia and vitamin E deficiency (AVED) is another rare, inherited disorder in which the liver’s alpha-tocopherol transfer protein is defective or absent. People with AVED have such severe vitamin E deficiency that they develop nerve damage and lose the ability to walk unless they take large doses of supplemental vitamin E”
Foods that contain vitamin E include eggs, fortified cereals, fruit, green leafy vegetables, meat, nuts, nut oils, poultry, vegetable oils such as, corn, cottonseed, safflower, soybean, sunflower, olive oil, wheat germ oil, and whole grains.
There is conflicting information about the positive effects of taking a vitamin E supplement however, we have been told that the supplement should not be used if you have the following;
• Low levels of vitamin K
• If you have Retinitis Pigmentosa
• Any type of blood clotting disorder
• Head and Neck Cancer
• High doses of vitamin E may be harmful if you have had a stroke, heart attack or if you have diabetes.
• If you have undergone an angioplasty
• If you have a bleeding disorder
*Vitamin E may increase the risk of bleeding, therefore, it is recommended that you stop taking vitamin E about two weeks before any surgery.
Vitamin E may have a positive effect on immune health which is why I take it. Also, some people take it to protect themselves against heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and some types of cancers.
Vitamin E is a critical vitamin required for proper functioning of several organs in the body. Therefore, it is important to understand how it works and the safety concerns. For more information regarding vitamin E refer to the NIH fact sheet found on their website at, http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/