Monday, July 28, 2014
Definition

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin.


Alternative Names

Alpha-tocopherol; Gamma-tocopherol


Function

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. They are believed to play a role in certain conditions related to aging.

The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria.

Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells and it helps the body use vitamin K. It also helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them.

Cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and carry out many important functions.

Whether vitamin E can prevent cancer, heart disease, dementia, liver disease, and stroke is still not known.



Review Date: 02/08/2011
Reviewed By: Alison Evert, MS, RD, CDE, Nutritionist, University of Washington Medical Center Diabetes Care Center, Seattle, Washington. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.

A.D.A.M., Inc. is accredited by URAC, also known as the American Accreditation HealthCare Commission (www.urac.org)