Next in the “All About… series” is one of the most important vitamins. All vitamins are important, but vitamin E is really up there because it’s an antioxidant that helps the body fight free radicals. Don’t think the magic stops there. Only, this isn’t magic, it’s a very real (and natural) way to reduce cataracts, improve your vision and live a generally healthier lifestyle.
We always hear talk of vitamins A, C, or D, while vitamin E sort of gets pushed to the side. Popularity doesn’t always prevail in terms of health. Just because it flies low on most of our radars, that doesn’t mean it isn’t important.
In fact, did you know that a vitamin E deficiency can cause impaired vision? Sight is one of our most important senses so why isn’t anyone talking about how great this vitamin is for your eyes?!
We honestly don’t know. But we’re here to share all we know about what vitamin E can do for your eyes and body.
What Vitamin E Does
Vitamin E is considered to be an antioxidant. There are a lot of different types of antioxidants that all have one thing in common: they all fight free radicals in the body, meaning they keep cells happy and healthy.
Without antioxidants, free radicals are free to cause damage to the cells that sometimes lead to the death of the cell. This is extremely harmful in parts of the eye like the retina, but we’ll talk more about that later on.
Like fellow antioxidants, vitamin E is no one trick pony. Antioxidants are rarely only antioxidants and this vitamin has several other functions besides fighting free radicals.
It is especially important for the formation of red blood cells. The vitamin also helps to widen the blood vessels to prevent them from clotting. For this reason, vitamin E is a crucial vitamin for the elderly, whom are prone to blood clots. It also works to enable the body to use vitamin K.
The vitamin isn’t just for those of a certain age. Anyone at any time can get a blood clot, but getting your daily vitamin E intake can prevent that in the long run. It can also give your immune system a boost. Got the sniffles? Get your vitamin E to get over that cold fast!
As a fat soluble vitamin, it dissolves in fat as opposed to water. The key difference here is that fat soluble vitamins last longer in the body because they get tucked away to be used when the body needs it. This is a great feature for our bodies to have because if we forget our supplements one day, it’s not the end of the world.
However, with this comes a downside. Because it is stored in the body for later use, it means that there’s a possibility of toxicity. When too much vitamin E is going into your system but not being used by the body, it can become toxic. This is rare and most of the time only occurs when someone has the wrong supplement dosage.
Putting the “E” in Eyes
It goes without saying that vitamin E is something your eyes absolutely need. Like we mentioned, a deficiency can cause impaired vision among other complications like muscle weakness, which also impairs the muscles responsible for eye movement. This can sometimes cause eye paralysis.
But don’t worry; a deficiency is hard to come by. If you stick to a balanced diet, you’re most likely in the clear. A vitamin E deficiency affects those with low fat absorption often after surgery or those suffering from certain diseases like Crohn’s disease and cystic fibrosis.
A deficiency is treated with vitamin E supplements. A doctor will assess a patient’s level of deficiency and prescribe the correct amount to be taken daily.
All right, enough with the negativity! Vitamin E does some really good stuff for your eyes too! As we mentioned before, it is great for your retina. The retina is filled with hundreds of cells that allow us to perceive colors, shadows, contrasts, and so on. Without the retina, we’d see in fuzzy black and white. Vitamin E protects the cells in the retina from being damaged by free radicals.
It is also an anti-aging vitamin. This title is well earned. According to the American Optometric Association (AOA), vitamin E can prevent age-related eye diseases like cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
It can reduce your risk of cataracts by half by preventing the formation of it on the lens of the eye. According to the same report by the AOA, it can slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration by 25 percent in those at risk.
Vitamin E Supplements and Food Sources
It’s not a vitamin that is produced by the body, which is why it’s so important to get it into you system through either supplements or food.
The most common way to get that much needed vitamin E into your body is to take a daily supplement. Supplements are fun because they don’t come in boring capsules, they come in tasty gummies! But don’t be fooled by the candy-like texture of the gummies, take too many in one day and you may end up with toxic levels of the vitamin.
Another supplement that isn’t a gummy is our Ocu-Plus Formula. It’s the perfect source for all 17 essential vitamins and nutrients for your eyes. We’ve carefully measured out the daily amount needed.
Foods are also a great source of vitamin E and it’s easy to get into your diet. Eating a regular healthy diet is enough to get the amount of vitamin E your body needs. Here are some of the best foods:
- Wheat germ (this is probably the best source on the list)
- Nuts (almonds, cashews)
A midday snack of a handful of almonds is all you need to keep your eyes and immune system up and running at all times. Vitamin E will help your vision and keep it sharp and lasting for a long time to come.