In this blog post we want to have a look on the second last essential vitamin in the alphabetical order, which is vitamin E. We want to find out an answer to the question “What are the Functions of Vitamin E in Our Body? – The Fertility-Source”.
Why can we call vitamin E the fertility-source?
From the bible, many of us, faithful or not, may know the words from Moses: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth … .” Maybe that is the reason vitamin E was created.
Besides many other very important functions, vitamin E is responsible for the control of the gonads. Therefore it was already found as the anti-sterility-factor, when it was discovered in the 20th century.
Especially the sperm quality is directly linked to the amount of the available vitamin E. But as the causes for an unfulfilled child wish are mostly equally depended on the man and the woman, the right level of vitamin E is also important for women.
So now you know that vitamin E is important for your fertility. But there are even more important functions, which are covered by vitamin E. So let´s get on with our journey.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a vitamin, which is fat-soluble, heat-stable until 200°C. It includes a group of fat-soluble substances with a different oxidation potential. Of this group, RRR-α-Tocopherol is the most effective one and on top the most important, as it furthermore is the best-researched one. There are actually 4 forms of vitamin E as tocopherol (α, β, γ, δ) and 4 forms of vitamin E as tocotrienol (α, β, γ, δ). Tocopherol and tocotrienol differentiate themselves from one another on the molecular level by their side chains and on top tocotrienol has the ability to get into our brain and our liver. Furthermore, it has an up to 40% higher antioxidant effect.
Vitamin E is an essential vitamin for us, which we have to get through our nutrition.
What is the demand for Vitamin E?
Depending on the age, health and lifestyle the daily demand for an average and healthy adult for the essential vitamin E is 12 – 15 mg per day. As the anti-sterility-factor 1 mg of αTE (alpha Tocopherol Equivalent) equals 1 mg (α)-, 2 mg (β)-, 4 mg (γ)-, 100 mg (δ)- tocopherol and 3 mg (α)-, 6 mg (β)- , 13 mg (γ)- tocotrienol. For δ – tocotrienol there is no official conversion. α-tocopherol is the most important and most effective form of vitamin E and the most important and known form of vitamin E.
Where can you get Vitamin E from (Top foods)?
Here are the Top foods, which are rich in vitamin E and in α-tocopherol :
1. Seabuckthorn (up to 3,3 mg αTE (1,8 mg α-tocopherol)/100g)
2. Avocado (up to 2 mg αTE (1,5 mg α-tocopherol)/100g)
3. Wheat germ (up to 2,4 mg αTE (1,7 mg α-tocopherol)/100g))
4. sunflower seeds and palm oil (up to 0,8 mg αTE (0,7 mg α-tocopherol)/100g))
5. olive oil (up to 0,2 mg αTE (0,18 mg α-tocopherol)/100g))
What are the functions and benefits of Vitamin E?
In the introduction section, we learned that vitamin E plays an important role as a support for our fertility by controlling the gonads. But just as I already mentioned, there are many more interesting and important functions which vitamin E holds ready for us.
Antioxidation protection of fats and proteins
One of the most important functions of vitamin E can be seen as an antioxidant. In this case, it protects multiple unsaturated fatty acids from (per)oxidation, which eventually leads to the destruction of these fatty acids so they cannot do their designated work. Firstly, this work includes being a membrane lipid, stabilizing the structure of our body cells. Secondly, this work includes lipoproteins, which are used to transport several substances like cholesterol, vitamin E itself, vitamin A and phospholipids, which are the material for new cell membranes. Thirdly, this work includes stored fat, which is our emergency reserve if we lack macro nutrients.
Considering the second task of vitamin E in our body, namely the protection of lipoproteins, we can see that vitamin E has the ability regulate our cholesterol level and besides protects the function of our blood as a medium for transport and the tissues.
Moreover, vitamin E becomes a radical catcher and protects us therefore from diseases like inflammation, cancer and degenerative diseases down to the cellular level.
Regulation of the fertility
Vitamin E regulates our fertility by stimulating the gonads, which has an even bigger impact on male fertility, than on female fertility.
What deficiency symptoms of Vitamin E exist?
A hypovitaminosis of vitamin E is seldom. There needs to be a risk factor like a fat absorption disorder in the gut. Possible symptoms of a lack of vitamin E can be as followed:
- dry skin
- muscle and nerve function disorder
- lack of concentration
- bad healing wounds
- increased risk for arteriosclerosis
- tissue degeneration possible
What overdose symptoms of Vitamin E exist?
A hypervitaminosis of vitamin E is possible through supplementation, can begin at a daily intake of more than 300 mg and can lead to gastrointestinal problems and a risk of bleeding.
What else may you have to consider about Vitamin E?
Value in our body
Vitamin E is stored in the liver, the fat depots and in the blood plasma. There α-tocopherol is transported with the transfer-protein α-TTP (Tocopherol Transfer Protein).
Antagonists and Advice
Glutathion and vitamin C are able to regenerate degenerated and used vitamin E. Glutathion is an amino acid, which works as a great antioxidant and is found in nearly all of our cells.
Discovery and Use
In 1922 the fat-soluble factor of vitamin E was discovered. In 1938 vitamin E was synthetically produced and isolated out of oat, corn and wheat.
The word “tocopherol” comes from the old greek “tokos” and “pherein”, which means birth bringing.
And as we are coming to an end of today´s blog post, we can find out the following. Beginning with the original meaning of tocopherol, which points at the function of vitamin E to stimulate the gonads and therefore effects our fertility, vitamin E holds an even more important function for us, namely its work as an antioxidant. It protects lipid structure within our cell membranes, it protects the transporting lipoproteins and it protects our depot fat from oxidation.
α-tocopherol is the most effective form of vitamin E in our body and we can get high amounts of it from seabuckthorn, avocado, wheat germs and plant oils like palm and olive oil.
What do you think now? Was this blog post helpful for you? What else do you know or want to know about vitamin E? Please leave your comment below.