Causes of Vitamin E deficiency | Vitamin E (tocopherols) | Symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency | Side effects of Vitamin E Over dose or low intake
What is the Main Function of Vitamin E ?
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by unstable substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. They are believed to play a role in certain conditions associated with aging.
Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells and helps the body to use vitamin K.
The ability of vitamin E to prevent cancer, heart disease, dementia, liver disease, and stroke are still not known. At lower levels, vitamin E may help protect the heart.
The best way to get enough essential vitamins is to eat a balanced diet that contains a variety of foods.
What are the Causes of Vitamin E ?
1. Weak muscles and fertility problems.
2. Dietary vitamin E deficiency is common in developing countries; deficiency among adults in developed countries is uncommon and usually due to fat malabsorption.
3. The main symptoms are hemolytic anemia and neurologic deficits. Diagnosis is based on measuring the ratio of plasma α-tocopherol to total plasma lipids; a low ratio suggests vitamin E deficiency.
4. Vitamin E deficiency causes fragility of RBCs and degeneration of neurons, particularly peripheral axons and posterior column neurons.
5. Cystic fibrosis13 – This disease causes failure to secrete sufficient pancreatic enzymes, which leads to steatorrhea. If measured, vitamin E levels are low; neurologic complications rarely are reported.
6. Abetalipoproteinemia – This is a rare genetic, autosomal-recessive, inborn error of lipoprotein production and transport. Infants present with steatorrhea from the time of birth. Patients have pigmented retinopathy and progressive ataxia, and they develop acanthosis of red blood cells in the first decade of life.
7. Chronic cholestatic hepatobiliary disease3 – Profound deficits in infants as young as 2 years may result from this condition. Decreased bile flow and micelle formation lead to malabsorption of vitamin E. Neurologic findings are less frequent in adult patients with cholestasis secondary to cirrhosis.
8. Short-bowel syndrome – This may develop from intestinal pseudo-obstruction, surgical resection, or mesenteric vascular thrombosis. Only after 10-20 years of malabsorption do neurologic symptoms become clinically apparent.
9. Isolated vitamin E deficiency syndrome – Developing in the absence of fat malabsorption, this syndrome is caused by an autosomal-recessive genetic disorder involving chromosome arm 8q. Neurologic findings develop within the first decade of life, and no clinical findings distinguish deficiency from ataxia and movement disorders.
What are the Symptoms of Vitamin E deficiency ?
What are the Side Effects of Vitamin E Overdose ?
In November, 2004, the American Heart Association stated that high amounts of vitamin E can be harmful. Taking 400 IU per day, or higher, may increase the risk of death.
Taking smaller amounts, such as those found in a typical multivitamin, was not harmful.
High doses have also been reported to cause (or may theoretically cause) the following vitamin E side effects:
* Intestinal cramping
* Fatigue and weakness
* Blurred vision
* Any unusual bruising or bleeding (vitamin E can increase the risk of bleeding)
* Signs of gastrointestinal bleeding, such as:
o Black, tarry stools
o Bright-red blood in the stool
o Vomiting of blood
* Signs of a hemorrhagic stroke (bleeding in the brain), such as:
o Vision or speech changes
o Weakness or numbness in an arm or leg
o Severe headache.
Some people may experience irritation or allergic reactions when vitamin E is applied to the skin.
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