Vitamin E is an essential nutrient, providing support for a number of processes and functions. It is also an antioxidant, that protects your body’s cells from damage from free radicals. As a vital nutrient for healthy muscle creation and function, vitamin E can be useful for weight loss. The recommended daily amount for vitamin E is 15 milligrams for adults. As a fat-soluble vitamin, your body holds onto excess levels of vitamin E.
Vitamin E and Weight Loss
Vitamin E works with vitamin K to produce red blood cells as well as being necessary for muscle production and health. Because of its role in red blood cell formation as well as muscle function, vitamin E could potentially improve your overall physical fitness performance. As a consequence, vitamin E may be a beneficial supplement as part of a larger weight loss regimen. Improved muscle function can help facilitate building lean muscle mass.
According to the National Council on Strength and Fitness, lean muscle mass burns more calories than body fat, and will help improve your body's metabolism, making it more efficient in calorie burning. Vitamin E supplements, along with a dedicated training schedule that includes resistance training to build lean muscle mass, can potentially help you achieve your weight loss goal. There is, however, no conclusive evidence supporting vitamin E as a weight loss supplement.
In addition to possibly improving physical fitness, vitamin E may help treat anemia and epilepsy in children. It may also help with treating arthritis and Alzheimer’s disease. When taken with vitamin C, vitamin E also helps treat sunburns, improves eye health, reduces the likelihood of complications with diabetes and may even help reduce cramping associated with menstruation. The University of Maryland Medical Center also states that vitamin E may help lower the risk of heart disease and the chances for some cancers, especially prostate cancer.
Vitamin E Sources and Deficiency
Vitamin E can be found in a number of foods, including dark, leafy greens, nuts and avocados. Animal sources of vitamin E include eggs and liver. Low levels of vitamin E can lead to a number of complications, including arthritis, depression and preeclampsia in women. Symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include weak muscles, muscle loss and blurry vision or eye problems. In prolonged cases, deficient levels of vitamin E can lead to kidney and liver complications.
Vitamin E Toxicity
Vitamin E supplements or high consumption of vitamin E through the diet can lead to complications, especially if you are on blood thinner medication. High doses of vitamin E can also exacerbate respiratory tract infections and may also interfere with drugs used for chemotherapy and radiation treatments, as well as depression, anti-psychotic and diabetes medications. If you are considering taking vitamin E supplements for weight loss purposes, or for other potential health benefits, let your physician know in advance to avoid any possible complications with medication or preexisting conditions.
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Possible Interactions with Vitamin E
- University of Maryland Medical Center: Vitamin E
- University of Pittsburgh Medical Center: Vitamin E
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E
- MedlinePlus: Vitamin E - Natural
- National Council on Strength and Fitness: A Pound of Muscle Burns 30 to 50 kCal per day