Vitamin E is a fat-soluble, essential nutrient with anti-inflammatory properties. Vitamin E helps support the immune system, cell function, and skin health. It’s an antioxidant, making it effective at combating the effects of free radicals produced by the metabolism of food and toxins in the environment.
Vitamin E may be beneficial at reducing UV damage to skin.
It may also be effective at reducing the symptoms of atopic dermatitis and fatty liver disease, and for slowing the progression of mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
Vitamin E is even used to widen blood vessels, reducing the risk of blood clots.
UV light and sun exposure reduce vitamin E levels in skin. Vitamin E levels also decrease with age. However, vitamin E is available in many foods, in supplement form, and as an ingredient in products applied topically.
Vitamin E deficiency is very rare in healthy people. It is almost always linked to certain diseases in which fat is not properly digested or absorbed. Examples include Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, and certain rare genetic diseases such as abetalipoproteinemia and ataxia with vitamin E deficiency (AVED). Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it.
Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system.