Vitamin E is a fat-soluble nutrient found in many foods. However, many Americans don’t receive enough through the foods they eat; as a result, some physicians recommend vitamin E supplements to ensure that the body has enough of this essential nutrient.
What Does Vitamin E Do?
Many people take vitamin E supplements because it helps promote healthy skin and eyes. Vitamin E supplements are also popularly used as antioxidants that protect human cells from damage.
Signs of Vitamin E Deficiency
Vitamin E deficiency occurs most often in people who have digestive problems and diseases such as cystic fibrosis. In some cases, people on low-fat diets have vitamin E deficiency, as well.
Vitamin E deficiencies may cause:
- Age spots
- Cognitive dysfunction
- Decreased sex drive
- Developmental problems in infants and children
- Disorders related to reproduction and infertility
- Dry hair or loss of hair
- Dysarthria (a speech disorder)
- Fragile red blood cells
- Gastrointestinal diseases
- Leg cramps
- Liver and bone marrow abnormalities
- Loss of weight and delayed growth in infants and children
- Muscle abnormalities
- Muscle weakness
- Neurological deficits
- Ptosis (a drooping upper eyelid)
- Retrolental fibroplasia (an eye disease)
- Slow tissue healing
Recommended Doses of Vitamin E
The recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E includes what people should get through foods and through vitamin E supplements.
- Children 1 to 3 years: 6 mg per day
- Children 4 to 8 years: mg per day
- Children 9 to 13 years: 11 mg per day
- 14 years and up: 15 mg per day
- Breastfeeding women: 19 mg per day