Welcome to ReviewBox! Vitamin E provides a wealth of nutrients for the body, and is also widely used in the cosmetics industry for its skin rejuvenating properties. The question is which of all the products and brands is best?
At ReviewBox we will show you the different types of vitamin E products and their characteristics, so that you can choose the one that best suits your interests and budget. It is important that you take every detail into account to make the best purchasing decision.
- 1 Weekly newsletter with the best personal finance tips
- 2 The Best Vitamin E: Our Picks
- 3 Buying guide
- 4 Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different types of vitamin E
The Best Vitamin E: Our Picks
What is vitamin E and what are its benefits?
Vitamin E (also known as alpha-tocopherol) is a group of eight fat-soluble compounds including four tocopherols and four tocotrienols, which play an important role in the body.
Because of their lipid antioxidant function, these vitamin E compounds are found in fat-rich plant foods such as oilseeds (soybeans, sunflower, flax, peanuts, etc.) and, to a lesser extent, in cereal grains.
One of its main advantages is that it offers protection against free radicals, reducing oxidative cell damage and slowing down the symptoms of ageing, both in the skin and in the body. Vitamin E is considered one of the most effective antioxidants available.
What role does vitamin E play in the body?
Vitamin E plays a key role in the normal metabolism of all cells, as it is the most important fat-soluble antioxidant in human and animal tissues. It is found in the lipid-rich parts of cells, such as cell membranes and fatty tissues.
It has the task of protecting polyunsaturated fatty acids in lipids against oxidative damage, which is why deficiency can lead to metabolic disorders or neurological disorders.
Natural or synthetic vitamin E - what to look out for?
Supplements divide vitamin E into two types: natural or synthetic. Before buying a product, it is important to check the label to see which type it belongs to, as the names differ only by one letter.
Natural vitamin E: This is also called d-alpha tocopherol, and is more potent and more effectively metabolised than synthetic vitamin E. It can be obtained from vegetable oils and plant extracts. It is available in vegetable oils and is known to help prevent cellular oxidation and has been touted as an excellent natural antioxidant.
Synthetic Vitamin E: This is the modified or artificially created version of vitamin E. It is known as dl-alpha. It is known as dl-alpha tocopherol, and approximately 300g of this vitamin must be consumed to achieve similar benefits to 100g of the natural vitamin. It is available in supplements or in artificially fortified foods.
|It is called d-alpha tocopherol||It is called dl-alpha tocopherol|
|It is more potent and better assimilated by the body than synthetic vitamin E||It takes three times the synthetic dose to equal the effect of 100mg of natural vitamin E|
|It comes from vegetable oils||Usually from petroleum products|
|Transported to other tissues in the body||Usually found in supplements and "fortified" products (with extra vitamins added)|
|Prevents and fights cellular oxidation||Manufactured from chemicals.|
|It comes from food sources|
How can vitamin E be consumed?
Foods containing vitamin E are vegetable oils (wheat, sunflower, corn, soybean, olive, etc.), nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts), green leafy vegetables (broccoli and spinach) and seeds (such as sunflower seeds).
While the most effective way to consume this vitamin is through food, there are also capsules, tablets and tablets that act as dietary supplements. There are also many creams, ointments and lotions containing vitamin E, mainly used for tissue regeneration.
Vitamin E supplements are often recommended for premature or newborn babies, people with coeliac disease, people with liver disorders, people who consume a lot of polyunsaturated fats, in cases of alcoholism, or vitamin E malabsorption. They are also recommended for women taking contraceptives.
How much do vitamin E products cost?
The market offers a wide range of prices for vitamin E products, which vary according to their characteristics. We will give you approximate costs so that you can evaluate the options according to your budget.
Vitamin E is also consumed through dietary supplements and skin creams. The former range from approximately MXN 100 to MXN 1,500, and creams usually start at MXN 200 to MXN 2,000 (or even more), depending on the brand, size, ingredients, etc.
Where to buy vitamin E products?
Vitamin E is mainly marketed for its antioxidant and cell and skin regenerative properties. It is available in its different variants in shops such as Costco, Walmart, Liverpool and El Palacio de Hierro (creams are available in the latter two).
It is also available online at Amazon, Linio, Ebay, and Mercado Libre, which have as an extra benefit the convenience of buying from your home, where you can also receive your order.
Buying criteria: factors that allow you to compare and rate different types of vitamin E
Because there is such a wide range of vitamin E on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to decide which is the best product to purchase. This is why it is important to consider certain factors when buying vitamins E. In this list you will find the main factors to consider:
Recommended daily dose
Before taking any vitamin supplement, it is advisable to consult a doctor, as the dosage will vary according to your vitamin needs, so it is important to get an expert's opinion in order to get the right amount of vitamin E into your body.
The amount of vitamin E needed per day also depends on age. The average daily amounts of vitamin E, expressed in milligrams (mg) and international units (IU), recommended for people of different ages are as follows:
- Infants up to 6 months of age: the recommended dose is 4 mg (6 IU)
- Infants 7 to 12 months of age: the recommended dose is 5 mg (7.5 IU)
- Children 1 to 3 years of age: the recommended dose is 6 mg (9 IU)
- Children 4 to 8 years of age: recommended dose is 7 mg (10.4 IU)
- Children 9 to 13 years of age: the recommended dose is 11 mg (16.4 IU)
- Adults and pregnant women: the recommended dose is 15 mg (22.4 IU)
- Breastfeeding women : the recommended dose is 19 mg (28.4 IU)
Until recently there were no known side effects from taking high doses of vitamin E, however, recent studies report some side effects, such as vomiting, diarrhoea or gastrointestinal discomfort.
Some research also indicates that some people treated with Vitamin E supplements for long periods of time may suffer from brain haemorrhages, although this is not the most common. People over the age of 55 who have heart disease or diabetes are most prone.
On the other hand, while no serious side effects have been reported from synthetic vitamin E supplements, they are not recommended as their components are often derived from petroleum products. It is always advisable to use vegetable oils.
Although high doses of vitamin E do not present high-risk side effects (in any form), there are certain medications that may cause adverse reactions or diminish their effect when combined with high doses of vitamin E, for example:
Tumour-inhibiting antibiotics. There is concern that when combined with high doses of vitamin E, these antibiotics may affect their effectiveness as chemotherapy drugs.
Anticoagulants and antiplatelet drugs (drugs that alter or modify blood clotting), herbal medicines and supplements used to reduce blood clots may increase the risk of bleeding when taken in combination with high doses of vitamin E.
Vitamin E and niacin (or vitamin B3) and vitamin K. Combining vitamin E and B3 may be beneficial for people with high cholesterol, but may reduce the effect of niacin, which acts on cell metabolism. It may also decrease the effects of vitamin K, which, among its many functions, is a blood clotting agent.
Scientific research has shown that taking vitamins or other medicines that have expired does not pose a significant health risk and that, in the worst case scenario, the worst that could happen is that they would have no effect.
In addition, certain myths have been debunked regarding the real expiry date of supplements, as several specialists claim that the expiry date is an estimate and that they can maintain their properties long (even months) after the expiry date on the label.
In any case, it is recommended that foods, supplements and creams containing vitamin E be packaged in airtight, dark containers to preserve their properties and effectiveness, as this vitamin is highly resistant to heat, but is very sensitive to light and oxygen.
(Featured image photo: Beverly Buckley/ Pixabay.com)