Vitamin E: deficiency – symptoms and causes

Vitamin E is essential for many bodily functions. A deficiency can cause serious symptoms. How likely is that? Symptoms and tips.

Vitamin E is produced exclusively by plants and is important for nutrient supply. It is mainly found in plants with a high fat content, such as canola (lipids), and protects polyunsaturated fatty acids from oxidation. Vitamin E is of great importance to the human body as a vitamin for cell protection. The antioxidant effect removes “free radicals” (oxygen compounds that damage cells). Like Pharmacy journal he explained, cosmetics manufacturers also use vitamin E because it’s good for skin care.

Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency? coordination problems

When can vitamin E deficiency occur? According to reports, this condition is rather rare: If you eat a balanced and varied diet, the deficit is rare in Western countries like Germany. However, there are circumstances that cause problems: A low-fat diet or impaired fat digestion can lead to an insufficient supply of vitamin D.

The health consequences of vitamin E deficiency are diverse: muscle weakness and fatigue may develop, coordination abilities, reflexes and vision may be impaired. “Normal” activities, such as walking or running, may cause difficulty. This is sometimes related to neurological problems.

Video: dpa

Hair loss can also indicate too little vitamin E: the supply of nutrients stimulates the growth of new blood vessels – and is therefore good for blood circulation in the scalp and hair roots. For this reason too, the possible effect is the formation of dandruff and poor wound healing.

Vitamin E: Daily Need

The German Society for Nutrition (DGE) has published data from 2022 that states the recommended amount of vitamin E per day:

Alter milligram (mg)
0 – 12 Fun 3 to 4 mg
13 years 5 to 6 mg
4 – 9 years 8 to 10 mg
10 – 14 years 11 – 14 mg
15 – 25 years 12 – 15 mg
25 – 65 years 12 – 14 mg
65 – 11 to 12 mg

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According to the DGE survey, older adults need slightly less than younger adults. In addition, the need for women is slightly lower than for men – unless they are pregnant. Also important: Breastfeeding mothers have an increased need and should clarify this with a doctor if in doubt.

Vitamin E deficiency may have a genetic background

If vitamin E deficiency occurs in premature babies, in severe cases severe anemia develops. Just like the portal Online doctor.of describes that the most severe form of vitamin E deficiency is caused by a genetic defect. The rare condition “familial isolated vitamin E deficiency” (FIVE) disrupts the metabolism of the vitamin in the liver, meaning it cannot be released into the bloodstream.

Food: Which foods contain vitamin E?

A balanced diet is essential to prevent vitamin deficiency (hypovitaminosis). As a fat-soluble “plant vitamin,” vitamin E is found primarily in oils such as wheat germ oil, canola oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soybean oil. Nuts, seeds, butter and eggs are also among the foods that serve as good sources of vitamin E absorption.

Vitamin E deficiency? Oils and capsules as a dietary supplement – possible overdose

In addition to nutrition, vitamin E can also be taken through preparations or food supplements. These are especially popular as oil or as vitamin D capsules, they are available in drugstores, pharmacies or of course on the Internet. However, consumers should beware of overdose: Although this is hardly possible through food intake, it is possible if high-dose vitamin E preparations are consumed over a long period of time.

This may be of concern to people who suffer from blood clotting disorders and those who take blood-thinning medication. The reason: Too much vitamin E increases the risk of bleeding. Gastrointestinal problems can also occur with long-term intake of vitamin D.

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