Header Graphic

Protection Of Vitamin E

Antioxidants is a very frequently used term. Wherever you go, in the mall, at the grocery, even on huge billboards, the word antioxidant shouts out to you. And then you wonder, what is an antioxidant and where can you get this. An antioxidant is a substance that prevents free radicals like peroxides from entering the body and damaging the cells. And the best, most important antioxidant in existence is vitamin E. Vitamin E is known more commonly as tocopherol with various structural relatives. It is one of the four fat soluble vitamins that need fat for it to be absorbed into the body.

Vitamin E can be absorbed by the body when fat is also actively absorbed. When there is an impairment or a problem with the absorption of fat, then the body cannot utilize vitamin E. Vitamin E is dissolved with the fat in the diet and it is found to be liberated and absorbed by the body when it is digested. When this occurs, vitamin E is then transported in the blood using the lipoproteins as its carrier. At first, it is carried by the chylomicrons to the liver, then by the very low density lipoproteins into the adipose or fat tissue where it is stored. Therefore, when there are problems that arise in these processes, several problems crop up such as steatorrhea, cholestatic liver disease, cystic fibrosis and chronic steatorrhea.

The body also contains several polyunsaturated fats. It is the job of vitamin E to keep these polyunsaturated fats from being peroxidized. This is the reason why the work of vitamin E must increase whenever polyunsaturated fats also increase in the blood stream. This is when the ability of vitamin E to prevent free radicals from affecting the body occurs.

Vitamin E is also needed as an additional vitamin for women when they are pregnant to avoid the occurrence of anemia. When there is a decrease in the production of hemoglobin, with the blood cells having a short life span, then vitamin E is needed to prevent these situations from arising.

Vitamin E is also found to be needed by those who are undergoing a lot of stress as well as from those who are afflicted with diseases whose fat metabolism does not work. When the absorption of fat in the body is faulty, there is a big possibility that a deficiency in vitamin E occurs.

How is vitamin E availed? Vitamin E can be found in several natural sources such as wheat germ, safflower seed oils, and sunflower seeds. Soya bean oil and corn are also abundant resources of vitamin E as well as fish liver oil although it just minute amounts in the latter. However, proper handling and preparation must be followed since vitamin E is easily destroyed by food processing and commercial cooking techniques.

There are a lot of other things that are associated with vitamin E but the most important of all is the ability of the body to absorb fat. Without it, vitamin E will cease to exist.