The vitamin E is essential for the immune system due to its protective effect. It protects the cell membranes from the free radicals. If the cell membranes are damaged this could even lead to cancer. Vitamin E is fat soluble and that makes it so effective against free radicals.
The daily amount Vitamin E need by your body depends on your weight, and the amount of fat in your diet. The more the fat the more vitamin E is needed. But the the only foods that really contain any reasonable amount of the vitamin E are vegetable oils, seeds, wheat germ, and nuts. Thats why its recommended to take some form of vitamin supplement.
Vitamin E deficiency has no immediate effects, it can be spotted after months. But to have any detectable damage from vitamin E deficiency it will take years.
A few medical conditions lead to a vitamin E deficiency and require the person to take supplements. Cystic fibrosis causes a person to be unable to digest fats well which leads to less of the vitamin E being absorbed. Crohn’s disease causes to lower absorption rates of the vitamin E and a supplement may be necessary. Some forms of liver disease can also lead to problems absorbing the vitamin E, especially through the intestine. Of course, as fat is required to help absorb sufficient amounts of the vitamin E, anyone on an extremely low-fat diet will need to discuss their options for increasing the amount of vitamin E that their body needs.
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