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The Importance of Vitamin E in Our Life and Health

By Charles Hopkins Published 07/6/2006 | Nutrition

The women readers are well acquainted with the term vitamin E, I presume. Since this nutrient had been discovered at UC Berkeley years ago, vitamin E remained one of the most used substances in the ladies beauty products. In addition of playing a constructive role in enhancing female beauty, vitamin E has lot more important roles to play with regard to human biological system and men and women alike benefit from these actions of vitamin E.

Before going to the descriptions of many benefits of vitamin E, let me explain to you, what vitamin E actually is. The nutritionists prefer to divide all vitamins in two broad groups on the basis of the material that a vitamin dissolves in. Vitamins can either be dissolved in water, or they may be dissolved in fat. Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin. Like other fat soluble vitamins such as A, D and K, vitamin E remains stored in our bodys fat tissues for up to six months. In human body, vitamin E can be found in the chemical called Alpha-tocopherol, which is a powerful anti-oxidant.

Not only vitamin E, all other vitamins are beneficial for human health in some way or the other.   At the core, vitamins are nothing but organic substances that our body can not generate, but it needs them for a number of reasons. You might be wondering, if human body can not produce vitamins then how does it manage to get them? It is mainly through the various kinds of foods that vitamins are absorbed into our body. Once they get inside the body, they become busy with their designated tasks. They also take help from other vitamins and substances like enzymes to fulfill their duties. It is due to the contributions of several vitamins that our normal biological functions go on uninterrupted.
So you see, all vitamins have some kind of role to play to ensure the smooth running of our internal system and vitamin E is no exception. Lets see, what functions is it trusted with? 
As said earlier, vitamin E is blessed with its anti-oxidant properties. Thus it slows down the activities of harmful free radicals. Now this is an important job indeed! These free radicals are like destructive demons that grow inside our body out of normal metabolism or as a result of other environmental factors and goes on to slowly destroy our cells and tissues by penetrating through the cells membranes, affecting proteins and DNA in the cells and ultimately leading to fatal conditions where cardiac attack or cancer become the only natural corollaries. By fighting against oxidation, which is the work of free radicals, vitamin E protects our blood cells, the nervous system and also the skeletal muscles. Our precious eyes are protected from the harmful impact of the free radicals because vitamin E guards the retina of the eyes from the attack of the free radicals.
Probably the most important contribution of vitamin E relates to the maintenance of our cardio vascular health. Do you know what makes our hearts suffer from the worst fate? It is again the working of free radicals that stimulate the oxidation of the LDL, a type of cholesterol. If a number of medical studies are to be believed, this oxidation of LDL leads to the hardening of the arteries and ultimately to a heart attack.
As for the women health, vitamin E is extensively used to treat the pre-menstrual syndromes.  It also works wonderfully to treat certain types of breast diseases. It also reduces the melanoma cell growth causing skin cancer. It helps us to get more improved immunity. Along with vitamin A, it protects the lungs against pollutants. Number of studies suggest, regular intake of proper doses of vitamin E in conjunction with vitamin C considerably reduce the risk of Alzheimers disease.
Now that you know the beneficial effects of vitamin E on our health, you would like to know the possible sources of it. Well, you can get them aplenty in fresh fruits and leafy vegetables, in fishes and in whole grains. The oils like sunflower, olive, soybean, corn or canola are also great sources of vitamin E. However, if you feel you are not getting sufficient vitamin E, and thinking of taking supplements, it is highly recommended that you consult your physician first.