Benefits of Vitamin E
There appear to be numerous vitamin E benefits. The vitamin is claimed to be helpful for heart health, diabetes, skin health, and various types of cancer. However, most of the supposed health benefits have little or no supporting scientific evidence. Vitamin E does have antioxidant effects, however, which can help prevent the formation of free radicals.
Vitamin E is often claimed to provide a wide variety of health benefits (when taken by mouth) and cosmetic benefits (when taken by mouth or applied to the skin). Almost all of the claimed vitamin E benefits can be attributed to its antioxidant activity. Sometimes, this vitamin is claimed to be beneficial for the following uses:
- Heart health, including:
- Prevention of various types of cancer, such as:
- Alzheimer's disease (both prevention and treatment)
- Parkinson's disease (both prevention and treatment)
- Restless legs syndrome (RLS)
- Epilepsy (when used along with epilepsy medications)
- Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration (both prevention and treatment)
- Preeclampsia prevention in pregnant women
- Infertility (usually male infertility)
- Aging (slowing down or reversing the normal aging process)
- Skin health, including:
- Scar treatment or prevention
- Stretch mark treatment or prevention
- Wrinkle reduction.
Many (if not most) of the claimed health benefits of vitamin E have little or no supporting scientific evidence (see Does Vitamin E Work? for more information). People have assumed that because vitamin E has antioxidant properties, it automatically is beneficial for any age-related condition. Also, early studies showed that people with higher vitamin E intakes had lower risks of many conditions. As a result, high-dose supplementation was in vogue for quite some time, in both conventional and non-conventional medicine. However, since later studies showed that vitamin E supplementation often fails to provide the predicted health benefits (and that high-dose supplementation may actually do more harm than good), most healthcare providers now recommend a more modest approach to vitamin E supplementation.