Vitamin E in Personal Care Products
Vitamin E is a unique micronutrient that many people use for a variety of reasons including fighting disease, improving bodily functions, and promoting healthy skin and hair.
Understanding how you can use this powerful vitamin can help you improve the quality of your life.
In this article you will learn:
What is Vitamin E
By now, many people understand that micronutrients have many benefits essential for overall health. But, there is a lot more uncertainty centering around vitamin E. This nutrient, most commonly used in its alpha-tocopherol form, is an antioxidant that is made naturally in our body. Natural production can be supplemented with pills, but vitamin E is also found in many of the foods we already enjoy. Foods that are naturally high in vitamin E include nuts such as almonds, hazelnuts, and walnuts, potatoes, avocados, eggs, and leafy greens.
Vitamin E is considered a free-radical scavenger, which means it neutralizes harmful cells attributed to degenerative processes such as aging, loss of vision, cardiovascular issues, and numerous diseases. Researchers are exploring how to harness vitamin E's free radical-fighting abilities to combat more severe conditions such as cancer and other degenerative diseases. It also increases the blood's efficiency in preventing clots by releasing prostacyclin, which dilates the blood vessels and suppresses the adhesion molecules found inside the blood vessels. Also, vitamin E plays a role in developing red blood cells, which your body uses to circulate and oxygenate tissues and organs properly.
Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means it must be absorbed alongside fat. Consequently, those who are not eating enough fat or food, in general, can develop a deficiency in vitamin E which can result in urinary and digestive issues. Conversely, vitamin E is stored in fat, and consuming too much can cause toxicity. Ensuring you are using vitamin E properly can assist you in many different facets of your own health.
History and Origins of Vitamin E
Dr. Herbert M. Evans and his assistant Katherine S. Bishop discovered vitamin E in 1922 while experimenting on rats. They observed that all pregnancies ended in miscarriage when the rats were on a basic special diet. They introduced lettuce and wheat germ incrementally throughout the experiment, and healthy rats started being born as usual. They knew that there was something present in the new regimen that the rats needed to function and reproduce properly.
Through more research, Evans and Bishop narrowed down the source of the mystery ingredient to a lipid extract of lettuce, which meant the substance was fat soluble. Omitting this substance resulted in the rats miscarrying again, so they knew they had found what they were looking for, and named this fat-soluble lipid "vitamin E."
After identifying vitamin E, scientists searched for a human application. They were unsure of its chemical makeup, and no method on how to test its potency. It was not until 1936 that Evans and his team finally isolated the compound of vitamin E and determined the chemical compounds of each of its different forms.
In the 1950s, researchers discovered the vitamin protected against inflammation, sun damage, and aging. Many products began incorporating vitamin E as a way to maintain healthy skin and a robust immune system. However, there was little proof to back-up these claims despite the success consumers had been having with it, so many scientists still doubted the effectiveness of the vitamin.
Benefits of Vitamin E
It was not until about ten years ago that doctors accepted the wide-spread benefits by taking advantage of vitamin E. It is a very simple compound, so it was almost inconceivable it could have so many useful applications for those who have claimed that it improved their health in a variety of ways. Scientists continue to find more functions for the supplement further than just its antioxidant properties. Conversely, older methods are being revisited to bridge the gap between speculative observation and scientific proof. The commercial use of vitamin E continues to grow and is projected to become even more widespread in the future.
Vitamin E is a supplement that is diverse in how people use it to better their lives. Most commonly, vitamin E is used to combat:
Vitamin E may also have a role in preventing and treating Alzheimer's disease. One study found that people supplementing vitamin E could better manage daily activities than those receiving a placebo. This study emphasized a finding that supplements replenish reduced amounts of the vitamin within the cerebrospinal fluid that defends the brain. More research needs to be done to validate these claims, but taking vitamin E remains a good practice for Alzheimer's patients.
Many understand that sticking to a diet that contains sufficient amounts of vitamin E may even prevent some forms of cancer. However, there is more speculation about whether or not supplementing larger levels of the vitamin is advantageous for staying cancer-free or weakening it for those already afflicted.
If you are a smoker or exposed to environmental pollutants such as cigarette smoke, harmful free radicals can enter your body. Vitamin E's properties can help protect the membranes against pollutants found in cigarettes. In a lung, prostate, colorectal, and ovarian cancer screen trial targeting smokers, vitamin E and beta-carotene supplements were shown to prevent lung cancer.
Through more research, beta-carotene supplements may have actually increased the risk of cancer, while vitamin E had a negligible effect. However, the supplement lowered the risk of cancerous prostate tumors significantly. These results are unique to smokers, and the vitamin is much more effective in them. Many scientists believe that this phenomenon is attributed to the higher hormone levels found in this demographic compared to nonsmokers.
Vitamin E also has application as a preventative measure to combat heart issues such as high blood pressure and hardened arteries that can cause chest and leg pain. Vitamin E also reduces the risk of a heart attack. Recently, the American Heart Association (AHA) confirmed that vitamin E aids in preventing heart disease. The backing of these claims by a conservative group such as the AHA further proves that these benefits are not just anecdotal.
These claims ring particularly true to those with high levels of the blood protein haptoglobin, which comes in three forms. The form that is the worst at fighting disease-causing agents in the body is present in 40 percent of individuals with diabetes. The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) trial concluded that vitamin E supplementation reduced the risk of death from cardiovascular disease and heart attacks by 45 to 55 percent.
Vitamin E is a great tool for promoting healthy muscles and nerves, even at the cellular level. Plasma membranes enable cells to hold in their contents and choose what moves in and out of the cell. Those who suffer a disease that targets these functions such as Hunting's chorea can receive relief by using vitamin E to reinforce the plasma membranes affected by the disease. Bodybuilders also use vitamin E to help build strong muscles.
The brain and nervous system also thrive on vitamin E supplementation. Neurons found in these systems are very susceptible to oxidative damage that is caused by free radicals. Remember, vitamin E fights free radicals, helping protect nerves.
There have also been claims that vitamin E can improve eyesight. It defends against cataracts as well as reduces the risk of macular degeneration, which is the leading cause of vision loss and affects more than 10 million Americans. Macular degeneration is an incurable disease, but quitting smoking, exercising regularly, and eating a healthy, vitamin E-rich diet can lessen the symptoms considerably.
Being proactive and supplementing vitamin E in the earliest stage of macular degeneration is when the supplement is the most effective. If you consult a doctor about your vision issues, you can expect them to suggest increasing the amount of vitamin E in your diet and to take supplements if you have difficulty reaching the recommended levels.
People who suffer from medical issues can benefit from vitamin E because it can aid in combating a range of ailments. These include vitamin E Deficiencies commonly found within genetic disorders or premature infants. It is important to look for signs of vitamin E deficiencies, as the damage they cause to nervous tissue is often irreversible if gone undetected for a lengthy period. Since the vitamin is fat soluble, people who are on low-fat diets are more in danger than those who indulge in fattier choices.
Certain diseases can also give your body a harder time in absorbing vitamin E, including:
- Cystic Fibrosis
- Crohn’s Disease
Those afflicted with these diseases should pay careful attention to how much vitamin E they are getting each day.
Uses of Vitamin E in Personal Care Products
The market is becoming increasingly saturated by new products and ingredients that claim to perform miracles for your skin and hair. However, many of these claimed innovations are simply marketing tactics and classic ingredients perform just as well or better than their more modern counterparts. In fact, a survey distributed to cardiologists found that they all take antioxidants, and vitamin E was the most important and frequent supplement in each specialist's response.
People have been using vitamin E to improve their hair and scalp health for a variety of reasons. Those suffering from approaching baldness and alopecia can use vitamin E for hair antioxidant properties to prevent hair loss by reducing oxidative stress on the scalp. Improving blood circulation through supplementation also contributes to healthy hair, and encourages growth and increased follicle size. The protective barrier that vitamin E creates also nourishes your hair, balances oil production, and increases shine.
Some of the most practical products that the general public can use are vitamin E oil for personal care, vitamin E in skin products, and vitamin E in shampoos. These products might even perform better than more expensive products. Use a proven, natural compound to keep your appearance healthy and youthful.
Vitamin E is a traditional method that has proven results for skin care as well. It is produced naturally within the body, but production slows due to aging and sun damage. Once the vitamin E in the skin begins to deplete, aging occurs more rapidly, and your body has a harder time staying healthy in general.
The antioxidants found within vitamin E helps defend against environmental stressors that can cause damaged skin and other unwanted effects. It helps the skin in a variety of ways including protection from free radicals, hydration of the skin, and the alleviation of scars.
Whether you are taking supplements or using a topical cream, your skin benefits all the same. When looking for vitamin E for your products, be aware they may appear under a name unique to the type of vitamin E molecule. The most common forms include:
- dl-alpha tocopherol
- d-alpha-tocopherol acetate
- dl-alpha tocopherol acetate
These ingredients are all the alpha form of the component, which is also the vitamin E family that is found naturally in your body. The alpha form is the only one tested and recognized to be safe for human health requirements, so it is essential to check what form is in your products. Avoid ingredients that are beta, gamma, or delta tocopherol or tocotrienol as they might be unsafe for skin.
Certain acne medications increase the risk of problems with vision and hearing, hallucinations, depression, and sleep problems. However, patients can reduce the risk for these side effects with vitamin E supplements, which also helps heal skin further without drying it out.
Contact Brenntag for your Vitamin E needs
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