Vitamin E Deficiency Symptoms: Healing Properties & Food Sources

Vitamin E is one of the 4 fat soluble vitamins. Way back in 1923, Evans and Bishop established the fact that a fat soluble factor was necessary for reproduction in rats. Further research by many other scientists proved it to be true even in humans.

Vitamin E has strong antioxidant properties that protect the body from harmful free radicals. Its concentration is high in nerves, cell membrane, and unsaturated fat in the body.

Symptoms Of Vitamin E Deficiency

Deficiency of vitamin E can play havoc in the system. However, in most people who eat normal healthy food, the deficiency of this vitamin is rarely observed.

Since vitamin E requires fat to get absorbed, people suffering from fat malabsorption disorder are found to be deficient with vitamin E.

Being an antioxidant, deficiency of vitamin E can affect the blood vessels. This in turn can affect the heart and brain vessels leading to risk of heart attack and stroke. It further affects the blood vessels of genitals. Blood circulation gets hampered and the person faces problem of loss of libido.

Deficiency of vitamin E for prolonged period of time can also affect male and female fertility. Women having vitamin E deficiency may frequently abort.

Vitamin E deficiency can affect muscles and patient may complain of nocturnal cramps in calf muscles.  It can also affect retina causing visual problems.

Healing Properties Of Vitamin E

Vitamin E can be used in therapeutic doses from 200 to 2,400 mg daily, depending on the need. It has proved beneficial in the treatment of several disorders.

  • Sterility: Vitamin E has been used successfully in the treatment of sterility. About 100 mg of this vitamin is given daily in these cases. This vitamin has proved helpful in the prevention of sterility in male animals in laboratory tests. Sterile female animals have been able to conceive after the administration of large doses of vitamin E.
  • Abortion and Congenital Anomalies: Vitamin E is used in the prevention of habitual abortion, a tendency towards premature delivery, and congenital irregularities. Research has confirmed that congenital anomalies result from placental inadequacy. Vitamin E has proved to be effective in overcoming this inadequacy. A woman who has frequent episodes of abortions and was previously detected to be having vitamin E deficiency should take vitamin E supplements as soon as she becomes pregnant. It will reduce the risk of delivering an abnormal baby as well as miscarriage.
  • Sperm Count: Administration of vitamin E to males increases the number of spermatozoa. The sperm count may have fallen due to malnutrition, sedentary lifestyle, stress, and excessive use of tobacco. In all such cases, 100 mg of vitamin E taken daily for at least three weeks, can prevent congenital anomalies.
  • Dysmenorrhoea: Vitamin E has proved to be beneficial in the treatment of dysmenorrhoea or painful menses. Administration of 200 mg of this vitamin daily during the menstrual period is effective in treating this condition.
  • Menopause: Every menstruating woman passes through the phase of menopause. It is the period when menstruation finally stops. Usually it occurs after the age of forty. During this period she passes through psychological problems. Vitamin E therapy in doses of 200 mg daily for three months will give relief from mental stress, and other psychological problems.
  • Old Age: Vitamin E contributes towards a healthy old age. During this period, one usually feels weak and tired due to bio-chemical changes in the tissues. However regular intake of 200 to 400 mg of vitamin E keeps you healthy and energetic.

Dietary Source Of Vitamin E

  • Vitamin E is also called tocopherol. It is primarily distributed in plants and to a lesser extent in animal tissues. A major portion of dietary intake of vitamin E in humans is derived from vegetable oils such as soybean, corn and other oils.
  • Almonds, nuts, egg yolk, olives, pumpkin, sweet potato, walnuts etc are also rich source of vitamin E.
  • Meat and dairy products provide only moderate amount of vitamin E.