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What is the Best Vitamin for Your Heart?

In today’s article, we will discuss the essential vitamin for your heart. It is vitamin E.


Vitamin E serves as an antioxidant. It exists naturally in some foods and is sometimes added to other foods.


Vitamin E exists in at least eight forms. Out of these 8, the best is alpha-tocopherol. This is because Alpha-tocopherol meets all the dietary requirements of humans.

Vitamin E is fat-soluble. It is stored in the fatty tissue and liver and released for use when it is needed.

It is important to note that the most critical part of the vitamin E complex involves tocotrienols.

Tocotrienols are best for the heart — better than tocopherols because it works faster and it’s more profound. Its antioxidant properties are also more potent.


So, how does vitamin E benefit the heart?

Do you recall seeing rust on your car or your bike? Well, a similar oxidation process and rapid aging occur in your heart and other parts of your body when your cells are exposed to free radicals.

Free radicals are molecules that weaken healthy cells in your body and break them down. Free radicals may contribute to chronic heart conditions like heart disease. It also plays a role in cancer. You experience oxidative stress when there is an imbalance between the defense system (antioxidants) and reactive oxygen species (free radicals).

Antioxidants work to neutralize these free radicals, thus protecting your heart against the harmful effects of oxidative stress. Vitamin E has very potent antioxidant properties. In addition, researchers are looking at the anti-inflammatory properties of vitamin E and how it may contribute to easing certain chronic conditions when used as a supplement.

Some studies suggest that this nutrient (vitamin E) can delay or prevent the onset of coronary heart disease (CHD).

In vitro studies show that vitamin E stalls the formation of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and thus helps prevent blood clots. Also, several observational studies associate high vitamin E intakes with low rates of heart disease.


Other health benefits of vitamin E

  • Vitamin E protects your eye. It is present in the retina, where it guards against light-induced oxidative damage.
  • Vitamin E, like other antioxidants, also contributes to immune function. Studies show that vitamin E deficient diets affect the immune system adversely, preventing it from functioning at optimal levels.
  • As an antioxidant, vitamin E supports skin health by protecting your skin from the damaging effects of free radicals.

Healthy sources of vitamin E

Vitamin is present in foods such as:

  • Green veggies like collard greens, spinach, and broccoli
  • Nut butter
  • Vegetable oils, like sunflower, wheat germ, and safflower oil
  • Seeds, like pumpkin or sunflower seeds
  • Avocados
  • Mangoes
  • Red bell peppers
  • Fortified foods like fruit juices and cereals

Who should take vitamin E supplements?

To reduce your risk of heart disease, you have to supplement your dietary vitamin E intake. You may want to take extra vitamin E if you have any of the problems listed below:

  • Angioplasty
  • A heart attack
  • High blood pressure
  • High levels of triglycerides or LDL cholesterol
  • Bypass surgery
  • Blocked arteries in the limbs
  • Stroke caused by a surgery, carotid artery disease, or a blood clot

Who should take vitamin E supplements?

Well, the recommended daily allowance is age-dependent.


Takeaway

Vitamin E is a vital antioxidant nutrient that boosts the immune system and cardiovascular health (heart and blood vessels). It also plays a crucial role in cell signaling and gene expression.

Most people get adequate vitamin E from their diet. Examples of foods that are rich in vitamin E include vegetable oils, seeds, and nuts.

It is important to note that one can experience a deficiency of this nutrient due to health issues that may hinder the efficient absorption of the nutrient.

Studies have confirmed that vitamin E is beneficial for people with heart disease. However, if you’re taking medication, you must consult your healthcare provider before taking vitamin E supplements.


References

Rizvi, S., Raza, S. T., Ahmed, F., Ahmad, A., Abbas, S., & Mahdi, F. The role of vitamin e in human health and some diseases. Sultan Qaboos University medical journal, 2014; 14(2), e157–e165.

Glynn RJ, Ridker PM, Goldhaber SZ, Zee RY, Buring JE. Effects of random allocation to vitamin E supplementation on the occurrence of venous thromboembolism: report from the Women’s Health Study. Circulation. 2007; 116:1497–503.

Niki E, Traber MG. A history of vitamin E. Ann Nutr Metab. 2012; 61:207–12.

Liu M, Wallin R, Wallmon A, Saldeen T. Mixed tocopherols have a stronger inhibitory effect on lipid peroxidation than alpha-tocopherol alone. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2002; 39:714–21.

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