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Vitamin E: Why It's Important

May 27, 2010

Vitamin E is a term used for fat-soluble or fat-loving compounds found in avocados, nuts, asparagus, vegetable oil, corn and leafy vegetables, to name a few. Vitamin E is also a general term for these compounds: tocopherols and tocotrienols.

There are numerous health benefits from taking in vitamin E. Vitamin E helps prevent certain complications such as diabetes. It even plays an important role in cell signaling mechanisms.

Do you notice that many advertisements promote the intake of vitamin E and say that it helps prevent premature aging or it helps you maintain young-looking skin? In order to guide you in knowing the details behind these claims, you must first know the compound and its action to understand the principles about how it can work as a beneficial compound.

An Antioxidant

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that are due to their capability to bind with reactive oxygen species. Oxidation takes place when electrons are lost and transferred to other compounds. These are a series of reactions that are damaging to the cells as free radicals are constantly formed -- which later on make other compounds undergo oxidation as well. With the free bonds present in the vitamin E molecular structure, it can accommodate the electrons and prevent some important molecules of our body from undergoing oxidation.

Healthy Skin

With its active role as an antioxidant, it is usually tapped as an active ingredient in beauty products. Do you notice how vitamin E is promoted often to achieve healthy-looking skin? With the role it has in preventing the formation of more harmful reactive oxygen, it prevents damages to healthy skin by lessening the effects of certain oxidation processes which harm the skin. Thus, it leads to healthy and youthful skin. Now, you should not be surprised why vitamin E is usually included in products like soaps, shampoos and even lotions.

Reduces Complications in Diabetes

It is also linked to reducing the chances of having complications in a prevalent disease like diabetes. Based on the studies, an increase in the sugar levels in blood which usually happens in diabetic patients lead to oxidative stress. However, adding an irony to this case, this oxidative stress even creates and aggravates health conditions for people who have diabetes. Vitamin E serves its purpose well in being an antioxidant, by lessening or preventing oxidative stress. It also lowers the chances for further complications of the aforementioned disease.

Alpha Tocopherols

Other properties of vitamin E, aside from being an antioxidant, are its association in cell signaling or gene-regulation. This helps moderate the performance and production of certain proteins, enzymes or hormones in our bodies. Alpha tocopherols have been associated with inhibiting protein kinase C and collagenase. It is also linked with inhibiting proliferation of certain cells.

Visual Clarity

Vitamin E may also reduce the risk of cataracts and other age related macular degeneration that can cause blindness. For seniors, Vitamin E liquid supplements can also serve as preventive measure.

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