Health Benefits and Side Effects of Vitamin E for Hair, Skin
Let us take a trip down memory lane, back to our school textbooks. We’ve learned the 2 types of vitamins-water soluble and fat-soluble. And, we know that Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin.
There are 8 related fat-soluble substances with the same activity as Vitamin E. The most important of them, which we consume in our diet called alpha-tocopherol. Adequate vitamin E levels in your body are a must for it to function optimally.
Vitamin E has many direct actions on our metabolism:
- It has anti-oxidant actions and is thus a natural anti-oxidant.
- It maintains the integrity of our cells and tissues
- Promotes DNA synthesis in our body
- It also has some anti-inflammatory properties and is therefore important to our immune system.
Sources of Vitamin E and how you can incorporate them into your diet:
Vitamin E is one of those vitamins which are naturally present in a lot of food we consume. It is therefore easy to get some into your body and less likely to suffer from a vitamin E deficiency.
1. Vegetable oils
Sunflower, safflower, corn, and soybean oils are rich sources of vitamin E. Sunflower oil is an affordable oil to use for purposes like frying. The market even flooded with fortified oils these days. Fortification is a process where common food items such as vegetable oil enriched by mixing nutrients like vitamins and certain minerals into them.
Sunflower oil comes fortified with vitamin E oil benefits, others vitamins include vitamins A and D. It is very affordable and should replace your groundnut oil or hydrogenated oils like vanaspati and ghee which have a higher content of ‘bad fats’ and do not provide the necessary nutrition.
Almonds, peanuts, hazelnuts are naturally rich sources of vitamin E. We’ve all grown up listening to our parents and grandparents telling us how if we ate almonds, we’d have strong, healthy hair and clear skin. They weren’t wrong. Almonds are also rich in other forms of vitamin e including gamma-tocopherol.
Including nuts in your diet shouldn’t be a task as nuts are already a part of most people’s diets. However, if that’s no the case, incorporating them into your regular diet should be easy because they make for delicious and healthy snacks that you can munch on anywhere. Eating them as snacks won’t even make you feel guilty if yure on some sort of diet as they are healthy and will only help in strengthening your body and clearing out your skin.
Sunflower seeds. Sunflower seeds, like nuts, are naturally a rich source of vitamin E. They added to your regular smoothie bowls or ground and sprinkled over your salad dressings. They are also high and in fiber and therefore very healthy on the whole.
4. Green leafy vegetables
Spinach and broccoli. So, call me weird, but I really love spinach and broccoli. Never liked them as a kid, but which kid does? Now, especially after living in a hostel, away from family, and having to cook my own food, I’ve realized that these are actually easy sources of a whole lot of nutrients. And if you try hard enough, you can make them very tasty!
Adding spinach to your diet in a tasty way is far easier than broccoli. Use it in a salad, use it in soup, make spinach rice out of it, you can even make veg kebabs! Broccoli can be boiled and seasoned and added to salads and clear soups. Adding a dash of lime makes broccoli more palatable.
- Other fortified cereal and butter can be incorporated into your diet by replacing the current cereals and butter you use.
RDA OF VITAMIN E
RDA stands for recommended dietary allowance. It means the amount of a particular substance you are supposed to consume in a day to keep your body healthy and running optimally. Vitamin E values, like any other, vary with gender, age, and pregnancy. There is always a lot of confusion regarding these values and I thought it would be best to lay them out here.
These values are to be used as goals to look up to. The WHO has recommended the following values:
- Males and females in the age group of 14 or older—15mg/day or 22IU/day
- Pregnant women—15 mg/day.
- Lactating women—19 mg/day.
DEFICIENCY OF VITAMIN E
There are abundant Vitamin e rich foods available in the markets. Vitamin E is a type of vitamin that is found pretty abundantly in a lot of food items that are commonly consumed by masses. This is why it is pretty rare to see a vitamin E deficiency, per se. Vitamin E deficiencies are usually seen as a part of something called the malabsorption syndrome. I’ll get to more about that in a bit. Here are the signs and symptoms to watch out for if you do have vitamin E deficiency.
- Retinopathy: This is damage to the retina. The retina is one of the layers of the inner linings of your eyeball. It is the part that interprets the light that falls on the eye and sends it to your brain for interpretation. Retinopathy is damage to the retina which can lead to an impairment in vision.
- Peripheral neuropathy: Neuropathy is damage to your nerves. Peripheral neuropathy is damage to your peripheral nerves. Your nervous system is divided into central and peripheral. The central comprise your brain and spinal cord while your peripheral comprises the rest of the nerves of your body. This most commonly happens in your hands and feet and lets to pain, weakness, and a tingling sensation in your limbs. Peripheral neuropathy is common in uncontrolled diabetes and his finding can, therefore, be overlooked in diabetics.
- Ataxia: This can be defined as a loss of control of the movements of your body. It most commonly is reflected in your gait where you may walk a little clumsily without any control over it.
- Immunodeficiency: Since vitamin E plays an important role in immune system functioning, its deficiency can lead to improper functioning of the immune system or immunodeficiency.
Toxicity is the opposite of deficiency. It happens when there is an excess of something in the body. It is rare to find vitamin E toxicity in people who obtain their vitamin E from natural sources. However, those who are into taking vitamin supplements, especially without the recommendations of a treating physician are likely to end up with some toxic effects.
A higher intake of vitamin E i.e., more than 22 mg/day can increase the risk of bleeding. This is especially true in people with preexisting bleeding disorders. It is therefore very important to consult a physician before starting any kind of medication, even as trivial seeming as vitamin supplements.
Like I mentioned earlier, Vitamin E deficiency is very unlikely to be found as a solo disorder. Most commonly, it is a part of malabsorption syndrome. What is this malabsorption syndrome? Malabsorption, as the name so clearly suggests, is a disorder of your gut where it is unable to absorb the nutrients that have been digested in your stomach. The most common reason or cause for this is due to some damage to the small intestine.
It is also likely to happen due to excessive usage of antibiotics as some antibiotics kill the natural flora of your gut which is necessary for your gut to function healthily. Other conditions like cystic fibrosis and pancreatitis can also lead to malabsorption.
In this disorder, there is a lack of absorption of fats. This affects the absorption of vitamin E and all other fat-soluble vitamins and substances. This is because, without fat, your body is unable to absorb these vitamins.
However, this is usually a genetic disorder meaning, you are likely to suffer from it f someone in your family has got it.
Stepping aside fro the negativity, we know that it considered a wonder vitamin for your hair skin and nails. Let’s find out how!
Vitamin E for your hair
Most of the ways vitamin E helps is due to its anti-oxidant properties. Let us take a look at some of them
1. Makes your scalp healthy
Vitamin E, owing to its anti-oxidant properties, keeps the scalp healthy. It maintains the integrity of the skin cells in your scalp and prevents the scalp from drying out by maintaining adequate nourishment.
2. Prevents hair loss.
Although there limited scientific evidence to support claims that vitamin E can help prevent hair loss, it has been tried and tested as a hair loss remedy and some women will just swear by it. However, it a healthy substitute to the chemical-filled tonics and solutions that sold to us claiming to reduce hair fall, there’s no harm in giving it a try.
You can apply almond oil to your hair and give your scalp and hot oil massage once a week. You can also incorporate vitamin E capsules into your hair care routine by breaking one open into your shampoo or conditioner bottles.
3. Strengthens hair roots
Vitamin E can strengthen your hair roots owing to their anti-oxidant actions. They protect and maintain the integrity of not only the cells of the scalp but also of your hair follicles. You can use it in the same away as mentioned above and notice the results for yourself.
4. Gives an increased gloss to your hair
Vitamin E can restore the natural shine and sheen to your hair that’s maybe lost with excessive styling and heating. For his, you can add some vitamin E capsules or almond oil into your hair conditioner or ask and keep it on 3-5 minutes longer than usual.
VITAMIN E BENEFITS FOR SKIN
It is also really good for your skin. Especially for dry skinned people like me! Meeting your vitamin E RDA values is one of the natural ways to support healthy skin and also its appearance.
In addition to improving the look of your skin, claims are that it can help manage acne, too! You can use vitamin E, directly on your face as an overnight face mask. You can also open a few capsules into your regular day cream or sunscreen. There are various benefits of vitamin E capsules.
It also has anti-aging properties. Applying it regularly to your face makes it more plump and soft. It reduces blemishes and prevents wrinkles. This is why it’s a good idea to incorporate vitamin E into your regular skincare routines for the best results.
Having said that vitamin E is a wonder vitamin for your hair, skin, and nails, we often sideline how very important it is for important bodily functions such as your immunity and tissue health. Vitamin E supplement capsules are a good way to incorporate it into your hair and skincare routines, but consuming it directly must not be done without consulting with your regular physician.
We hope this article helped you to know about Health Benefits and side effects of vitamin E on the face, Hair, and Skin. You may also want to see our guide on What Too Much Sodium Do To Your Body, Salt Side Effects, and How To Maintain Hygiene In Intimate Area.