Vitamin E is considered a fat-soluble vitamin. It acts as an antioxidant and protects cells from damage that is caused by free radicals, which are compounds that form when our bodies convert what we eat into energy. One of the most common uses for Vitamin E is to prevent or treat certain diseases and illnesses, such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, and cancer (including lung cancer, oral cancer, colorectal cancer, gastric cancer, prostate cancer, and pancreatic cancer), as well as fight inflammation, balance hormones, and reduce PMS symptoms (such as cramping, cravings, and even anxiety.) Some people also use Vitamin E for diseases of the brain and nervous system (such as Alzheimer’s disease and other forms of dementia), Parkinson’s disease, epilepsy, and restless leg syndrome.)
Vitamin E also has some surprising uses and benefits that you might not be aware of. If you have dry, itchy skin, Vitamin E oil is one of the best moisturizers you can use. Regular use of Vitamin E oil, especially on the hands, can keep the skin supple and prevent it from cracking. Vitamin E oil can also be used on chapped lips for the same reason. If you suffer from hair loss or want to promote quicker hair growth, Vitamin E can also be helpful. When applied to the hair and scalp, it stimulates capillary growth and widens blood vessels, which increases blood flow to the hair follicles. It can also reduce split ends and give your hair a more shiny, voluminous look without needing to use any store-bought products. If you develop stretch marks as a result of pregnancy or changes with your weight (such as weight gain), you can also benefit from using Vitamin E, as it can reduce the visibility of stretch marks, as well as reduce the visibility of scars. The best way to do this is to massage Vitamin E oil directly into the skin, where the stretch marks or scarring is visible, for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Vitamin E is also an excellent remedy for brittle nails. While brittle nails are usually a part of the body’s natural aging process, applying a small amount of Vitamin E oil to you nails daily before bed can reduce the risk of breaking or cracking nails.
If you’re wondering how you can find Vitamin E, there are two different ways. The easiest way would be through the food you eat. Things like almonds, sunflower seeds, spinach, sweet potato, avocado, butternut squash, trout, palm oil and olive oil contain the most Vitamin E. If these foods aren’t appealing to you or if you are allergic to any of these foods, you can also get Vitamin E through a supplement, which can be found at most drug stores as well as some health food and vitamin stores.
For more information about the benefits of Vitamin E and whether or not it’s suitable for you, speak with your pharmacist or family physician. Don’t forget you can also following Dr. Ghahary on Twitter at @DrAliGhahary for more health tips.