Vitamin E is a term used to refer to eight molecules, which are divided into two categories: Tocopherol and tocotrienols. Each category is further divided up into alpha (α), beta (β), gamma (γ), and delta (δ) vitamins. The vitamin α-Tocopherol is considered to be the ‘main’ vitamin. Vitamin E was one of the first two antioxidant compounds to be sold as dietary supplements, the second being vitamin C. It is sometimes used as the ‘reference’ antioxidant compound when fat soluble compounds are being researched. Vitamin E may function as a signaling molecule within cells and for phosphate groups. Vitamin E is an antioxidant. It may help protect your cells from damage. This essential nutrient occurs naturally in many foods. It’s also available as a dietary supplement. Sometimes, it’s in processed foods. Vitamin E is fat-soluble. This means your body stores and uses it as needed.
The method of preparing a product having high vitamin E potency which comprises subjecting soybean oil to high-vacuum unobstructed path distillation to effect separation of a Tocopherol concentrate comprising not more than 2 percent of the original oil, said Tocopherol concentrate being in its naturally occurring form in which it has relatively low vitamin E potency, and increasing the vitamin E potency of said concentrate by halo ethylating and reducing the halo ethylated product to alpha Tocopherol.
All age groups
5.4 - 40 ng/ml
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin which in total has 8 compounds, of which only one compound is useful to humans. This is also known as alpha-tocopherol and plays a vital role in antioxidation process and is believed to improve the overall ageing process.
Read on to know more about its benefits, functions, and sources.
Natural food sources contain enough amounts of this vitamin to meet normal daily requirements, and so consume the following.
Given its wide availability, deficiency is rare, but supplements may be required for premature babies with low-weight and in people with some genetic disorders. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dietitian-nutritionist.
Antioxidants: What are they?
Antioxidants are free radical scavengers known to enhance our immunity. We know that fruits and vegetables with vibrant colors are great sources of antioxidants. Many times we wish that foods that taste delicious were as healthy as these fruits and veggies. Here is something to cheer you up. The foods listed below are not only tasty but also rich in antioxidants.
Antioxidants and their sources:
Vitamin and trace element deficiencies
Fat soluble vitamins
Vitamin a (retinol)
• Found in dairy produce, eggs, fish oils, and liver.
Vitamin d (cholecalciferol)
• Found in fish liver oils, dairy produce, and undergoes metabolism at the kidneys and the skin using uv light.
Vitamin e (alpha-tocopherol)
• Widely distributed, green vegetables, and vegetable oils.
• Deficiency causes hemolytic anemia (premature infants) and gross ataxia.
Vitamin k (k 1 = phylloquinine k 2 = menaquinone)
• Widely distributed but particularly in green vegetables. Synthesized by intestinal bacteria.
• Found in cereals, peas, beans, yeast, and whole-wheat fl our. It is an essential factor in carbohydrate metabolism and transketolation reactions.
Vitamin b 2 (ribofl avin)
• Deficiency gives angular stomatitis (fissuring and inflammation at the corners of the mouth), inflamed oral mucous membranes, seborrhoeic dermatitis, and peripheral neuropatmhy. Drugs (e. G, isoniazid, hydralazine, penicillamine) and is also seen in alcoholism and pregnancy.
Vitamin b 12 (cyanocobalamin)
• Causes of a deficiency are numerous and include partial or total gastrectomy, crohn’s disease, ileal resection, jejunal diverticulae, blind loop syndrome, and tapeworm.
Vitamin b 9 (folic acid)
• Deficiency can be caused by poor diet, malabsorption states, coeliac disease, crohn’s disease, gastrectomy, drugs (e. G, methotrexate, phenytoin), excessive utilization (E.G, leukemia, malignancy, inflammatory disease).
• Consequences of deficiency include megaloblastic anemia, and glossitis.
• Deficiency results in hypochromic and microcytic anemia, wilson’s disease, impaired bone mineralization, menks’ kinky hair syndrome (growth failure, mental defi ciency, bone lesions, brittle hair, anemia).
• Usually caused by copper malabsorption.
Zinc deficiency causes achondromatosis enterpathica (infants develop growth retardation, hair loss, severe diarrhea, candida and bacterial infections), impaired wound healing, skin ulcers, alopecia, night blindness, confusion, apathy, and depression.
Vitamin b 3 (niacin)
• Found in fish, liver, nuts, and whole-wheat flour.
• Deficiency causes pellagra): dermatitis, diarrhea, dementia.
Vitamin b 6 (pyridoxine)
• Widespread distribution, also synthesized from tryptophan.
• Deficiency causes peripheral neuropathy, convulsions, and sideroblastic anemia. Deficiency may be provoked by a number of commonly used.
Food additive advantages
Some additives improve or maintain the food's nutritive value. Vitamins a, c, d, e, thiamine, niacin, riboflavin, pyridoxine, folic acid, calcium carbonate, zinc oxide and iron are often added to foods such as flour, bread, biscuits, breakfast cereals, pasta, margarine, milk, iodized salt and gelatin desserts. Instead of vitamin c, you may see ascorbic acid listed. Alpha-tocopherol is another name for vitamin e, and beta carotene is a source of vitamin a. In addition to providing nutrients, food additives can help reduce spoilage, improve the appearance of foods and increase the availability of a variety of foods throughout the year.
Food additive disadvantages
Some food additives can potentially cause harmful side effects. For example, butylated hydroxyanisole, commonly known as bha, is a preservative used in foods including potato chips, crackers, beer, baked goods and cereal. It has been classified by the u. S. Department of health and human services as a preservative" reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen" sulfites, which are added to baked goods, wine, condiments and snack foods, could cause hives, nausea, diarrhea and shortness of breath in some people.
Colors are additives, too
Coloring, in the form of dyes, pigments or other substances, is technically considered a food additive. These substances are often used to enhance color that's lost due to storage or processing. Pigments derived from natural sources, such as vegetables, minerals or animals, are exempt from certification. Man-made colors require testing by both the manufacturer and the fda to ensure they meet specific guidelines for purity.
Artificial preservatives can help your food last longer without becoming contaminated with food-borne illnesses, which is the reason they're found in so many different processed foods. Although all artificial preservatives used in the united states have been deemed" generally recognized as safe" by the u. S. Food and drug administration, not all of these additives are 100-percent safe for everyone. Some preservatives are associated with adverse effects, which can involve an unpleasant reaction in people sensitive to a particular additive or a potential increased risk for cancer.
Artificial preservatives may act as antioxidants, make food more acidic, reduce the moisture level of food, slow down the ripening process and prevent the growth of microorganisms, all of which help the food last longer. This means you can make fewer trips to the store and have less food waste because the preservatives help minimize the amount of food you buy that goes bad before you can eat it.
Limiting foodborne illnesses
Approximately one out of every six americans get a foodborne illness each year, according to the centers for disease control and prevention. Without artificial preservatives to limit the spread of the organisms that cause these illnesses, this number might be even higher. Some of these illnesses, such as botulism, can be deadly.
Potential adverse reactions
Certain preservatives, including sulfites and sodium benzoate, may cause adverse reactions in a small percentage of the population. Sulfites help limit the growth of bacteria in wine and the discoloration of dried fruit, but can cause potentially deadly allergic reactions in sensitive individuals, including rashes, low blood pressure, diarrhea, flushing, abdominal pain, asthmatic reactions and anaphylactic shock. Sodium benzoate, also called benzoic acid, is used in acidic foods to keep microorganisms from growing. In sensitive individuals, it can cause asthma, hives.
Increased cancer risk
Although sodium benzoate is usually considered safe for people who aren't sensitive to it, when combined with ascorbic acid in acidic foods it can produce benzene, which may slightly increase your risk for leukemia and other types of cancer, according to the center for science in the public interest. Nitrates and nitrites, which are often used to preserve cured meats, such as lunch meat and hot dogs, may also increase your risk for certain types of cancers, according to the u. S. Environmental protection agency.
Spinach has many important roles to play in maintaining a healthy body; various health benefits of spinach include the following:
Spinach is a rich source of beta carotene, lutein and xanthine, all of which are beneficial for eyesight. Beta carotene is supplied to the eyes by cooked spinach. It can prevent people from suffering from vitamin a deficiency, itching eyes, eye ulcers and dry eyes. This is also due to some of the anti-inflammatory properties of spinach, which can reduce the puffiness or irritation in the eyes.
Age-related macular degeneration (amd):
Amd or retinitis pigmentosa is responsible for causing blindness. It is due to the degeneration of lutein and xanthine which form a central part of the retina. According to research conducted by the oak ridge national laboratory, the consumption of spinach can result in regaining two vital pigments and effectively preventing amd. Spinach also contains a wealth of antioxidants that reduce the harmful effects of free radicals, which are known to negatively impact vision and cause age-related conditions like glaucoma and macular degeneration as well.
Several components of spinach like potassium, folate, and various antioxidants are known to provide neurological benefits to people who regularly consume them. According to neurology, folate reduces due the occurrence of alzheimer’s disease, so spinach is a very good idea for people who are at high risk of neural or cognitive decline. Potassium is an integral part of brain health as well, and it has been linked to increased blood flow to the brain, and heightened cognition, concentration, and neural activity.
Maintains blood pressure:
Spinach has a very high content of potassium and a low content of sodium. This composition of minerals is very beneficial for high blood pressure patients as potassium lowers and sodium raises the blood pressure. The folate present in spinach also contributes to the reduction of hypertension and relaxes blood vessels, while maintaining proper blood flow. By reducing blood pressure and relaxing the tension of vessels and arteries, you can reduce stress on the cardiovascular system and increase oxygenation to the body’s organ systems for optimal functionality.
A component of spinach, factor c0-q10, which is an antioxidant, plays an important role in strengthening muscles, especially heart muscles which continuously pump blood to all parts of the body. According to the journal of cardiovascular nursing, c0-q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases like hyperlipidemia, heart failure, hypertension and coronary heart disease.
Spinach is a good source of vitamin k, which functions in retaining calcium in the bone matrix, thereby leading to bone mineralization. Apart from this, other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc and phosphorus also help in building up of strong bones. This in turn can prevent an individual from developing osteoporosis of the bones. These minerals are also essential for maintaining healthy teeth and nails.
Reduced risk of cataracts:
The lutein and zeaxanthin present in spinach both act as strong antioxidants, thus preventing the eyes from the harsh effects of uv rays that can lead to cataracts. They also reduce the impact of free radicals, which can be a major cause of cataracts and other eye conditions.
Proper metabolic activity:
There is a reason why doctors recommend adding spinach in a significant way to your diet. The amount of protein found in spinach is impressive for any vegetable, and they are easily broken down by enzymes into amino acids that are essential to humans. The re-formed mammal proteins aid our muscle development and growth, our body’s ability to heal wounds, and provides a boost for our entire metabolism, encouraging all of our organ systems to function at their optimal level. Also recent study suggests that thylakoid found in spinach can curb cravings and hunger which can further help in weight loss.
It has been found that spinach and some other vegetables have the ability to protect the mucous membrane of the stomach, thereby decreasing the occurrence of gastric ulcers. Furthermore, the glycoglycerolipids found in spinach can boost the strength of the digestive tract lining, thereby preventing any unwanted inflammation in that part of the body that can cause harm.
Prevents atherosclerosis and strokes:
Atherosclerosis is caused due to the hardening of the arteries. A pigment called lutein that is found in spinach has been shown to reduce the occurrence of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. This is due to the fact that spinach proteins tend to reduce the cholesterol and other fat deposits in the blood vessels.
Folate found in spinach is needed by a growing fetus for proper development of its new nervous system. Defects like cleft palate or spina bifida may occur due to a deficiency of folate. The vitamin a contained in spinach is advised to be consumed in higher quantities by the mother. Vitamin a is required in the lung development of the fetus as well, and can be transferred during breast-feeding, so spinach consumption should be continued after birth as well.
There are many anti-inflammatory compounds found in spinach, more than a dozen, in fact. They are classified into the category of methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides, and spinach is one of the most powerful vegetables when it comes to reducing inflammation throughout the body. This not only means protecting the heart from dangerous inflammation and preventing cancer, but also in reducing the inflammation and associated pain from conditions like arthritis and gout, which afflict millions of people around the world.
Spinach is made up of various important constituents that have been found to be promising in the treatment and prevention of various kinds of cancer. These include bladder, prostate, liver and lung cancers. Different constituents in spinach like folate, tocopherol and chlorophyll act via different mechanisms to treat and protect patients suffering from cancer.
Recent studies have revealed that spinach is very effective against aggressive prostate cancer, and this has been linked to epoxyxanthophylls, which are unique carotenoids, along with neoxanthin and violaxanthin, that directly reduce tumorous activity and the spread of cancer throughout the body.
Different phytonutrients and pigments have been shown to protect the skin from the harmful rays of the sun, including uv rays. These not only protect, but also repair the damaged genes to some extent, thereby preventing skin cancer in the long run.
Protein source for infant growth:
‘popeye the sailor man’ is known for his obsession with spinach. The cartoon was deliberately aimed to convince children to eat spinach and get strong. Infants are advised to be fed with spinach, which is rich in protein, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients. These will result in proportionate development in their essential growing stages.