VITAMIN E : Sources, Function, Deficiency


In this blog, we learn about Vitamin E. 

There are two types of vitamins
Fat soluble vitaminsA, D, E, K
Water soluble vitamins B, C

Vit E is fat soluble vitamin, so it can be store in body fat parts. Deficiency is rare and has only seen in premature infants and underlying problem in digestion.

Vitamin E is a group of 8 fat soluble compounds that include 4 tocopherols (alpha, beta, gama, delta) and 4 tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gama, delta). The most common form is alpha tocopherol. When we talk about vit E, it means alpha tocopherol.

Vitamin activity was first identified as essential for fertilized eggs to result in live birth in rats, it was given the name “tocopherol” from greek word which means “birth to carry”. 

Vitamin E was discovered by Evans and Bishops in 1922, it isolate in 1935 & first synthesized in 1938.

  • Sources
  • Functions
  • Deficiency
  • Sign & symptoms
  • Diagnosis
  • Treatment


oliv oil,nuts
  • Oils – olive, wheat germ, soya bean, sunflower, palm, almond, corn oil, etc.
  • Nuts, seeds
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Fortified cereals

Daily requirement of vit E in adult is 15mg/day. The upper limit for adult is 1,000 mg/day for supplements of either natural or synthetic vitamin E.

Worldwide, Government Organization recommended adult consume in the range of 7 to 15 mg per day.


Antioxidant – Vit E has powerful antioxidant property. Which removes free radicals or toxins from our body & save our body from many infections.

Various scientific studies suggest that vitamin E being highly significant in managing diabetes and heart problems like blood pressure, hardening of arteries. It keeps heart healthy.

Due to its antioxidant property, it removes free radicals and reduce the risk of cancer

Study also suggest that vitamin E helps in prevent eye disease like cataract. It also helps in preventing brain and nervous system disorder like parkinson’s disease, alzheimer’s disease, dementia, etc.

Vitamin E is also useful in cosmetic purpose of skin and hair. You notice so many cosmetic products which contain vit E. It also used in conditions like burns & wound healing.

This way vitamin E is very important nutrition & it runs so many functions in our body.


Vit E is fat soluble vitamin, which stores in our body fat parts. If you not take vit E source for few days than deficiency not occur overnight because it stored in body fat.

Sources of vit E are also in routine diet. So, deficiency is rare

Deficiency occurs to premature infants and those who have digestive problems called malabsorption. In digestive problem, patient is taking enough vitamin E in diet but it can not absorb. So, ultimately patient is suffering from vit E deficiency.


  • Neuromuscular problems
    Due to vit E deficiency neuromuscular problems may occur like spinocerebellar ataxia and myopathies.
  • Neurological problems
    It may include dysarthria, absence of deep tendon reflexes, loss of the ability to sense vibration and detect where body parts are in three dimensional space.
  • Hemolytic anemia
    Due to oxidative damage to red blood cells, patient may suffering from hemolytic anaemia.
  • Retinopathy
    Due to deficiency there may be damage to rating & due to that patient have visual problems. It is known as retinopathy.
  • Impairment of the immune response
    Patient have low immunity and may suffer from various infection due to impairment of immune response.


The U.S. Institute of Medicine defines deficiency as a level of vit E concentration less than 12 µmol/L. We can also diagnose from sign and symptoms.


Oral vitamin E supplement and advise of taking diet containing vit E. Also treat digestive problem if any.

Vit E capsules available in market from 100 to 800 IU. If medicine of natural source than 1 IU = 0.67mg & if medicine of synthetic source than 1 IU = 0.45mg.

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