Vitamin E 101

Published April 23, 2014

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Vitamin E is an essential part of any diet as it has a great capacity to fight free radicals in the body, defining its status as an antioxidant. It may also support heart health.

This vitamin is found naturally in certain foods, but is also commonly found in multivitamins to top up dietary intake and ensure the body has everything it needs to perform at its best. Vitamin E can also be found in many oils including canola, corn, sunflower and soybean, as well as in some nuts and seeds.1 There are also levels of vitamin E found in meat, fish and some vegetables.1

In terms of how much each source provides, 10 almonds will typically offer around 3mg of vitamin E, while one tablespoon of sunflower oil offers 6mg of the nutrient. One tablespoon of sunflower seeds has around 5.7mg of vitamin E.

How much vitamin E each person needs will depend on the gender and age. Infants and children aged up to three need 5mg per day, which goes up to 6mg per day for children aged 4-8.1 From the age of 9 until 18, girls require 8mg per day, while males need 9mg/day from 9-13 and 10mg/day from 10-18.1

Adult men need 10mg per day, and adult women need just 7mg per day for the optimum level of vitamin E. These levels change for pregnant women too, who need 7-8mg daily, and breastfeeding women who should have 11-12mg per day.1

Vitamin E is usually well tolerated and excess vitamin E consumption will not pose a concern for either gender as it is not stored in the body like other fat soluble vitamins and up to 60-70% is excreted daily.2

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