Vitamin E

 

Vitamin E

 

Malnutrition may be a cause of hair fall. So you need to make sure that your body is getting required nutrition including vitamins and minerals. Only vitamin E deficiency may be causing your hair fall. You must ensure you are taking adequate vitamin E which is possible from daily diet only. But vitamin E supplement and vitamin E oil may be needed.

 

What is vitamin E?

A group of eight compounds are collectively known as vitamin E. Among the eight different compounds alpha tocopherol is most effective on human. Vitamin E is also known as antioxidant that means vitamin E prevents oxidation. Free oxygen radicals are produced through normal chemical reactions inside our body especially in fat oxidation. Vitamin E neutralizes these harmful free radicals.

 

Why vitamin E is so important?

I have already mentioned that free radicals are harmful. Free radicals may attack cells, tissues and organs. By protecting your cells including those on skin Vitamin E slows down aging process. Vitamin E also boosts our immune system so that immune system can fight against bacteria and viruses. It is believed that vitamin E may be effective in combating heart disease, cancer, liver disease, stroke and dementia.

 

Vitamin E deficiency

Vitamin E deficiency may cause nerve damage, loss of concentration, muscle wasting, anemia, loss of male fertility, weakened immune system and retinopathy. Retinopathy may lead to blindness. Actually we need so little amount of vitamin E that vitamin E deficiency is rare. But people with difficulties in absorbing vitamin E or difficulties in metabolizing fat usually face vitamin E deficiency. Because vitamin E is a fat soluble substance and usually we get it from fat.

 

Why vitamin E is important for your hair?

Vitamin E which is also known as antioxidant works against free radicals and free radicals also attack your hair and hair follicles where your hair grows. So like saving other tissues and organs from aging vitamin E is also saving your hair. Vitamin E improves blood circulation throughout the body including head. Improved circulation means healthy hair follicle on scalp and promotion of hair growth and reduction of hair fall.

 

You can easily understand that improved circulation will help to carry nutrients to scalp efficiently and which leads to healthy scalp. Healthy hair follicle with produce healthy keratin strands which is actually your hair and healthy hair strands last long. Vitamin E also has repairing capability. It can repair skin damage caused by ultraviolet ray from sun.

 

Treating hair loss with vitamin E

So now you know how important vitamin E is for your hair. Usually we get adequate vitamin E from diet, only foods rich in vitamin E may reduce hair fall and boost hair growth. Our body can store excess vitamin, so vitamin E isn’t essential in everyday diet. So make sure whether you really need more vitamin-E. Before taking vitamin E supplements and using vitamin E oil or ointment on scalp you need to consider several things.

 

In spite of the fact I mentioned above, vitamin E supplements may be required or you may want to try vitamin E capsule to see whether something happens.

 

Vitamin E isn’t toxic but excessive vitamin E may be harmful. You know aspirin prevents blood clotting. Excessive vitamin E may do the same. So people taking aspirin or suffering from ulcer or other diseases having risk of bleeding should consult doctor before taking vitamin E supplement. Diabetic and hyperthyroidism patients are also advised not to take vitamin E supplements.

 

Understanding the label

Vitamin E may be naturally sourced or produced synthetically.

·         Naturally sourced vitamin E is called RRR-alpha-tocopherol or d-alpha-tocopherol,

·         Synthetic vitamin E is called all rac-alpha-tocopherol or dl-alpha-tocopherol.

 

I mentioned above that among eight compounds known as vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol is most effective on human; so everything in compared to alpha-tocopherol.

 

You may see two types of units, international unit or IU and milligram or mg. So you need to know conversion factors.

 

·         1 mg alpha-tocopherol is equivalent to 1.49 IU of natural vitamin E and 2.22 IU synthetic vitamin E,

·         1 IU natural vitamin E means 0.67 mg alpha tocopherol,

·         1 IU synthetic vitamin E means 0.45 mg alpha-tocopherol.

 

How much vitamin E can be consumed?

According to Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies USA recommended dietary allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin E is given below:

 

Age

Males

Females

Pregnancy

Lactation

0–6 months*

4 mg
(6 IU)

4 mg
(6 IU)

-

-

7–12 months*

5 mg
(7.5 IU)

5 mg
(7.5 IU)

-

-

1–3 years

6 mg
(9 IU)

6 mg
(9 IU)

-

-

4–8 years

7 mg
(10.4 IU)

7 mg
(10.4 IU)

-

-

9–13 years

11 mg
(16.4 IU)

11 mg
(16.4 IU)

-

-

14+ years

15 mg
(22.4 IU)

15 mg
(22.4 IU)

15 mg
(22.4 IU)

19 mg
(28.4 IU)

*Adequate Intake (AI)

Caution: Like many other drugs keep vitamin E supplements away from sunlight.

 

 

Upper limit of vitamin E consumption

Excessive vitamin E with food isn’t dangerous but high dose vitamin E supplement can be harmful. Especially high dose vitamin E supplement with aspirin increases risk of hemorrhagic stroke.

 

Food and Nutrition Board (FNB) at the Institute of Medicine of The National Academies USA has recommended the upper intake level below:

Age

Male

Female

Pregnancy

Lactation

1–3 years

200 mg
(300 IU)

200 mg
(300 IU)

-

-

4–8 years

300 mg
(450 IU)

300 mg
(450 IU)

-

-

9–13 years

600 mg
(900 IU)

600 mg
(900 IU)

-

-

14–18 years

800 mg
(1,200 IU)

800 mg
(1,200 IU)

800 mg
(1,200 IU)

800 mg
(1,200 IU)

19+ years

1,000 mg
(1,500 IU)

1,000 mg
(1,500 IU)

1,000 mg
(1,500 IU)

1,000 mg
(1,500 IU)

 

Foods to get vitamin E

Nuts and their oils, palm oil, wheat germ oil, sunflower oil, safflower oil, broccoli, asparagus, pumpkin, sweet potato, green leafy vegetables, etc are great source of alpha-tocopherol which is the most effective form of vitamin E. You can also consume margarine, soybean oil, corn oil etc to get gamma-tocopherol which is the second most effective compound known as vitamin E. A table is given below:

   

Food

Milligrams (mg)
per serving

Percent DV*

Wheat germ oil, 1 tablespoon

20.3

100

Sunflower seeds, dry roasted, 1 ounce

7.4

37

Almonds, dry roasted, 1 ounce

6.8

34

Sunflower oil, 1 tablespoon

5.6

28

Safflower oil, 1 tablespoon

4.6

25

Hazelnuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce

4.3

22

Peanut butter, 2 tablespoons

2.9

15

Peanuts, dry roasted, 1 ounce

2.2

11

Corn oil, 1 tablespoon

1.9

10

Spinach, boiled, ½ cup

1.9

10

Broccoli, chopped, boiled, ½ cup

1.2

6

Soybean oil, 1 tablespoon

1.1

6

Kiwifruit, 1 medium

1.1

6

Mango, sliced, ½ cup

0.7

4

Tomato, raw, 1 medium

0.7

4

Spinach, raw, 1 cup

0.6

3

 

*DV = Daily Value. DV for vitamin E is 30 IU or approximately 20 mg of natural alpha-tocopherol.

 

Massaging vitamin E on scalp (topical treatment)

Instead of using vitamin E oil or ointment on scalp, consuming vitamin E rich food or supplement is more effective. But direct application may also be useful. Vitamin E is most effective on clean scalp so wash with shampoo first and then blot with a towel. You can use grape seed, sesame or carrot oil. Grape seed oil is good for normal hair, sesame oil is good for oily hair and carrot oil is good for dry hair. You will need two vitamin E capsules (200 IU). Pierce the capsules and pure the liquid into oil. Vitamin E is soluble in fat so it will dissolve easily.

 

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