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HomeHealth articlesvitamin e deficiencyVitamin E deficiency | Causes | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment

Vitamin E deficiency - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

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Vitamin E deficiency - Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment

4 min read


Vitamin E deficiency can cause wrinkles in your skin. Read this article to know more about vitamin E deficiency.

Written by

Dr. Lochana .k

Medically reviewed by

Dr. Deepika Dixit

Published At March 10, 2022
Reviewed AtMarch 13, 2023

What Are Vitamins?

Our body needs the help of vitamins to develop and grow. Vitamins can be classified as water-soluble and fat-soluble vitamins. The vitamins A, D, E, and K are fat-soluble vitamins. The remaining vitamins such as B, C, and D are considered water-soluble vitamins. Vitamins are only micronutrients, and they are required only in minor quantities for the individuals' proper functioning.

What Are the Important Functions of Vitamin E?

The essential and important functions of vitamin E are discussed below:

  • Antioxidant: There are substances called free radicals that are released due to the breakdown of food particles. It is also released during exposure to radiation and smoke. Antioxidants are substances required to prevent the body's cells from oxidative damage. Vitamin E is a rich antioxidant. However, the property of antioxidation is advantageous if it is present at the ideal levels. When the antioxidants are present in increased concentrations, it starts acting as pro-oxidants. It might end up in harmful effects.

  • Anti-aging: Sunlight is essential to the source of vitamin D. The sun's ultraviolet rays are known to cause damage to the cells. This might result in wrinkling of the skin and give an old appearance to the individuals. Vitamin E helps in providing nourishment to the cells and provides essential oils to the skin. Most of the moisturizing cream and oils contain vitamin E. Proper nourishment to the cells can be helpful in preventing the process of aging. It will help a person look young.

  • Rejuvenating the Dead Cells: Vitamin E has the capacity to nourish the dead cells of the skin. Vitamin E helps in rejuvenating the dead cells and it will help the individual look healthy and young.

  • Anti-inflammatory Property: Vitamin E is a good source of anti-inflammatory properties. It helps in reducing the swelling and inflammation caused in the body. There might be several reasons for inflammation, but whatever the reason might be, vitamin E helps in subsiding the swelling.

  • Hormonal Balance: It is essential to maintain all the hormones at an exact level. Such a balance will promote a healthy life. If there is a deficiency of vitamin E, a wide range of hormonal imbalances could be observed. If there is an imbalance in a particular hormone, then the impairment of health begins.

What Are the Causes of Vitamin E Deficiency?

The most common causes of vitamin E deficiency are:

What Is the Dietary Requirement of Vitamin E?

The dietary requirements of vitamin E mainly depend on the age and physical condition of the individual.

  • Children who are aged between one to three years require 6 mg every day.

  • Children who are aged between four to eight years require 7 mg every day.

  • Children who are aged between nine to thirteen years require 11 mg of vitamin E per day.

  • Adults who are more than fourteen years of age need 15 mg of the vitamin daily.

  • Breastfeeding mothers requires 19 mg of vitamin E per day. Their dietary requirement is higher to support the nutritional content of both the mother and the baby.

What Are the Rich Sources of Vitamin E?

The rich sources of vitamin E are:

  • Nuts like almonds, hazelnuts or filberts, and peanuts.

  • Vegetable oils like sunflower, wheat germ, safflower, soybean oils, and corn.

  • Green leafy vegetables like broccoli, beet greens, collard greens, and spinach.

  • Seeds like sunflower seeds.

  • Pumpkin and bell pepper.

  • Eggs.

  • Fruits like kiwi and mango.

What Are the Symptoms of Vitamin E Deficiency?

The symptoms of vitamin E deficiency are:

  • Muscular weakness.

  • Poor immune system.

  • Loss of bodily movements.

  • Blurred vision.

  • Damages to the nerves.

  • Tingling sensation in the arms and legs.

What Are the Effects of Vitamin E on Health?

  • Disorders of the Eye: Cataract formation and age-related macular degeneration are the common problems occurring in older people. Medical researchers identified that vitamin E helps in overcoming these vision problems. A large dose of supplementation of vitamin E can eventually reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration.

  • Mental Function: Supplementation of vitamin E in older people helps them to stay alert and active. They are known to have a reduced number of amnesia episodes. Vitamin E helps in repairing certain mild problems of mental health.

  • Heart Diseases: Providing vitamin E supplements to people who are at risk of heart disease shows positive results. However, a reduction in the risk of heart-related health issues is not applicable to all patients. More medical researchers are required to identify the influence of vitamin E on the heart and its function.

  • Cancer: Medical reports suggest that vitamin E does not have any positive effect on the condition of cancer. Higher doses of vitamin E are known to be very dangerous for cancer patients. Prolonged usage of ideal levels of vitamin E supplements is known to be beneficial in reducing the risk of bladder cancer. The dissociation of vitamin E and cancer exists due to vitamin E interaction with radiotherapy and chemotherapy procedures.

What Are the Treatment Options for Vitamin E Deficiency?

Vitamin E deficiency can be overcome by supplementation of vitamin E through diet or medications. If the cause for vitamin E deficiency is malabsorption or any neurological causes, the doctors will recommend a higher vitamin E dosage. If there is a poor concentration of bile salts in the intestine, the patients would have difficulty absorbing the oral supplements of vitamin E. In such cases, the doctors suggest intramuscular administration of vitamin E. The doctor should decide the dosage for any oral or parenteral administration of vitamins. It is always advised to follow the instructions of the doctor.

What Are the Complications of Vitamin E?

It is not advised to take excessive quantities of fats-soluble like vitamin E. Consuming higher vitamin E levels is known to have many complications. Some of the known complications of abundant levels of vitamin E are:

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Frequently Asked Questions


Where Is Vitamin E Deficiency Common?

Vitamin E deficiency is rare in humans, as it is unlikely to be caused by a low vitamin E-containing diet. Vitamin E deficiency can be seen in countries with a higher food insecurity rate. In developing countries, the deficiency is due to inadequate dietary vitamin E intake.


Who Is at Greatest Risk for Vitamin E Deficiency?

People who have problems absorbing dietary fat are at risk of vitamin E deficiency, as the absorption of vitamin E fat is needed. Infants with low birth weight and those with gastric bypass surgery are also at an increased risk.


How Can I Increase My Vitamin E Fast?

Increasing vitamin E intake is simple, even without taking supplements. Adding sources of vitamin E to the diet, like almonds or sunflower seeds, will help. In addition, the intake of fat aids in the absorption of vitamin E. Taking supplements will help reduce the symptoms of deficiency.


What Is the Main Food Source of Vitamin E?

Nuts like almonds and hazelnuts, vegetable oils like sunflower oil, green leafy vegetables like broccoli and spinach, seeds like sunflower seeds, bell peppers, pumpkin, eggs, and fruits like mango and kiwi are some rich sources of vitamin E.


How Do You Check Vitamin E Levels?

The vitamin E test checks the amount of vitamin E in the blood. It also measures the efficiency of the vitamin's absorption. It helps in diagnosing a deficiency or increased intake of vitamin E. The test is also used to check vitamin E levels in premature babies.


What Is Another Name for Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is also known as tocopherol or alpha-tocopherol. It is a nutrient found in every cell in the body. The nutrient helps to prevent blood clots, boost the immune system, and make the muscles and nerves work well.


How Can I Get Vitamin E at Home?

Adding the source foods of vitamin E to the diet, like almonds or sunflower seeds, will help to get adequate vitamin E at home. In addition, the intake of fat aids in the absorption of vitamin E. Taking vitamin E supplements will also do the job.


How Can I Get Vitamin E at Home?

Adding the source foods of vitamin E to the diet, like almonds or sunflower seeds, will help to get adequate vitamin E at home. In addition, the intake of fat aids in the absorption of vitamin E. Taking vitamin E supplements will also do the job.


How Much Is Vitamin E is in Almonds?

Nuts like almonds and hazelnuts are excellent sources of vitamin E. An ounce of almonds, which contains about 23 nuts, has about 7.3 to 7.7 milligrams of Vitamin E. Including such sources in the diet can benefit the nerves and muscles and prevent deficiency symptoms.


How Can I Get Vitamin E Overnight?

Vitamin deficiency requires some time to get resolved. Vitamin E supplement intake helps get adequate vitamins, which may not be received by consuming the foods needed. In addition, vitamin E-containing skin products are also available.


Does Vitamin E Affect Skin?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble and active ingredient in many skin products. It protects the skin from damaging effects, mainly from the sun's ultraviolet (UV) radiation. It also has anti-inflammatory effects. 


Which Is the Best Vitamin E Medicine?

Vitamin E supplements taken orally can help the body get the required vitamin. There are various brands and names for them. Getting the medicine produced under a genuine brand and containing the allowed ingredients is essential. Reading the label carefully before buying and getting an opinion from the doctor is also necessary.


Is Vitamin E a Blood Thinner?

Blood clotting is the body's mechanism against excessive bleeding. Vitamin E has the property of interfering with blood clotting. Therefore, vitamin E can cause blood thinning and severe bleeding if taken in excess. 


Can Vitamin E Remove Dark Spots?

Melanin is a pigment that can cause dark spots on the skin. In addition, hormones and other factors can also cause marks and pigmentation. Vitamin E oil applied topically may help eliminate pigmentation on the skin. However, this may only work in some kinds of pigmentation.


Does Drinking Vitamin E Help Skin?

Intake of vitamin E in any form can be beneficial. Vitamin E helps the muscles and nerves function well and builds the immune system. Vitamin E-containing products and oils are available to apply topically for skin benefits.


Is Vitamin E and Evion Same?

Vitamin E, or tocopherol, is an ingredient in Evion. Evion is a vitamin supplement. It has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. 
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Dr. Deepika Dixit
Dr. Deepika Dixit

General Practitioner


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