Nutritional Guide

Vitamin E (Also known as: d-alpha tocopherol, tocopherol acetate, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate)

Beneficial For :

Why you need it?

Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that protects cell membranes and other fat-soluble parts of the body. Two studies published in the New England Journal of Medicine show that both men and women who supplement with at least 100 IU of vitamin E per day for at least two years have a 37-41% drop in the risk of heart disease. Even more impressive is the 77% drop in non-fatal heart attacks reported in a double-blind CHAOS study, in which people were given 400-800 IU vitamin E per day.

The names of all types of vitamin E begin with either "d" or "dl" which refer to differences in chemical structure. The "d" form is natural and "dl" is synthetic. The natural form is more active. More synthetic vitamin E is added to supplements to compensate for the low level of activity. For example, 100 IU of vitamin E requires about 67mg of the natural form, but at least 100mg of the synthetic. Little is known about how the synthetic "dl" form affects the body, though no clear toxicity has been discovered.

Deficiency Symptoms:

Severe vitamin E deficiencies are rare.

Good Food Sources:

Unrefined cold-pressed vegetable oils, particularly wheat germ oil and soy bean oil, all whole raw or sprouted seeds, nuts and grains (especially whole wheat), fresh wheat germ (must be absolutely fresh, less than a week old; rancid wheat germ does not contain vitamin E), green leafy vegetables, egg yolks, legumes.


GRAS- Generally recognized as safe. No adverse reactions, side effects or overdose symptoms expected when taken within the recommended amounts.

No adverse effects have been reported as a result of taking vitamin E supplements during pregnancy or lactation.

Vitamin E toxicity is very rare; supplements are widely considered to be safe. Vitamin E supplements are unlikely to cause adverse side effects in most individuals at typical dosage levels. Nausea, flatulence, diarrhoea may occur from excessive (>2000 IU) vitamin E intake. Increased triglycerides mat result from vitamin E toxicity.

The most commonly recommended dose of vitamin E for normal, healthy adults is 400-800 IU per day. 1800 IU per day has been shown to cause a prolonged blood clotting time.

Chronic rheumatic heart disease (do not start with high doses, gradually work up). Cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan): requires hepatic oxidation for activation; antioxidants interfere with this process. Phenytoin (Dilantin): causes reduced serum levels of Vitamin E. Large doses of vitamin E may reduce the intestinal absorption of vitamin K and prolong bleeding time. Use with caution in diabetics (retinol bleeding). Balance with vitamin K if using large dose for prolonged period. At larger doses (>1500 IU) vitamin E may enhance the anticoagulating effects of warfarin and coumarin.

The information provided on this site is for educational purposes only. Neither the information provided nor products supplied or offered should be construed to be in any way substitutes for medical attention or prescribed medication. Consult with your healthcare professional before taking any supplements or herbal remedies if you are suffering from an undiagnosed illness or if you are on prescribed medication.