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Vitamin E

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
  • Anemia
  • Cataracts
  • 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
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