Should I Take Vitamin E at Night?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidants that help fend off damaging substances called free radicals. Vitamin E is often suggested to help prevent heart disease and cancer due to its antioxidant properties. However, the possible benefits of antioxidant activity in humans are not definitive. The time of day you take vitamin E doesn't appear to impact its effectiveness, though taking supplements after meals may prevent possible side effects.

Vitamin E supplements come in natural or synthetic forms. (Image: GooDween123/iStock/Getty Images)

Considerations

The consumption of vitamin E and other dietary supplements during the day, after eating, is preferable to taking vitamins on an empty stomach. Taking vitamins on a full stomach can help your body absorb the maximum amount of nutrients. Some people feel queasy if they take vitamins on an empty stomach. You may want to take vitamin E in the evening after eating, since dinner is often a larger and more filling meal than breakfast or lunch.

Dietary Sources

The best way to obtain antioxidants such as vitamin E is by eating a nutritious diet high in fruits, vegetables and whole grains, rather than from supplements. Vitamin E is found in meat, fish, nuts, whole grains, dairy products, asparagus and green, leafy vegetables like spinach. Supplements may be necessary, however, to get a therapeutic dosage, according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Dosing

The recommended daily allowance, or RDA, of vitamin E for males and females older than age 14 is 22.5 international units. The ideal therapeutic dosage of vitamin E has not been established. Vitamin E supplementation is generally considered safe at doses up to 1,000 milligrams daily, which is the recommended tolerable upper intake level

Precautions

High doses of vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding in people with certain disorders, or those who take medications that can increase bleeding risk. Check with your health care provider before taking vitamin E supplements if you take aspirin, warfarin or other blood-thinning drugs.

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