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Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. There are 8 forms. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form in humans. It is an antioxidant. This means it acts to protect the body's cells against the effects of free radicals. These are normal by-products of metabolism, but they can cause cell damage.
The role of vitamin E is to:
|Age Group||Recommended Dietary Allowance|
|1-3||6 milligrams (mg)||6 mg|
|4-8||7 mg||7 mg|
|9-13||11 mg||11 mg|
|14-18||15 mg||15 mg|
|19+pregnancy||15 mg||not applicable|
|19+||15 mg||15 mg|
|19+ lactation||19 mg||not applicable|
This health problem is rare. In developed countries, it is seen only in people with certain health problems, such as liver disease or cystic fibrosis.
People who do not get enough vitamin E often do not get enough vitamins A, D, and K.
Vitamin E does not leave the body in the urine like most water-soluble vitamins. It can build up in the body. The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for adults from dietary sources and supplements is 1,100 milligrams (mg) daily. The UL is lower for children.
Vitamin E content
|Wheat germ oil||1 tablespoon||20.3|
|Sunflower seeds, dry roasted||1 ounce||7.4|
|Sunflower oil||1 tablespoon||5.6|
|Hazelnuts, dry roasted||1 ounce||4.3|
|Safflower oil||1 tablespoon||4.6|
|Almonds, dry roasted||1 ounce||6.8|
|Peanut butter||2 tablespoons||2.9|
|Corn oil||1 tablespoon||1.9|
|Mango, raw||½ cup||0.7|
|Peanuts, dry roasted||1 ounce||2.2|
|Broccoli, boiled||½ cup||1.2|
People who may need a supplement because they lack vitamin E are:
To get more vitamin E:
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
United States Department of Agriculture
Dietary supplement fact sheet: vitamin E. Office of Dietary Supplements: National Institutes of Health website. Available at: http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional. Accessed August 27, 2020.
Vitamin E. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/vitamin-e. Accessed August 27, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN Last Updated: 3/2/2021