Lack of Vitamin E – Symptoms, Causes, Sources and Tips

Vitamin E

Fat-soluble, vitamin E is an important nutrient for the human body, since it has antioxidant action, protecting against free radicals that can cause damage to cells, organs and body tissues.

Lack of vitamin E

The main cause of the lack of vitamin E is the absence of adequate amounts of the nutrient in the body. Disorders in the liver or the gallbladder, pancreatitis, cystic fibrosis and other conditions that impair the absorption of fat may also compromise the absorption of nutrients and increase the risk of developing shortage of vitamin E.

This is because vitamin E is fat soluble, which means it needs fat to be absorbed. Thus, a low-fat diet is another cause for the lack of vitamin E in the body.

Newborns and premature babies have a higher risk of vitamin A deficiency E. However, the chances diminish over time, as breast milk transfer sufficient amounts of nutrients to infants.

Also, people who live in developing countries are more likely to suffer from a lack of vitamin E than the population of developed countries.

Check out a list showing how much vitamin E each person, depending on their age, should eat daily:

  • From zero to six months: 4 mg / day;
  • Seven to 12 months: 5 mg / day;
  • From one to three years: 5 mg / day;
  • Four to eight years 7 mg / day;
  • Nine to 13 years: 11 mg / day;
  • From 14 years 15 mg / day;
  • Adolescents and pregnant women: 15 mg / day;
  • Adolescents and women who are breastfeeding their babies: 19 mg / day.

While excess nutrient can increase the risk of congenital malformations in babies, bleeding in the brain and increase the chances of prostate cancer rise, vitamin E deficiency may be responsible for a condition called hemolytic anemia, which is characterized by lack of sufficient amount of red blood cells in the body.

The disease causes symptoms such as moodiness, weakness, frequent tiredness than usual, headache, trouble concentrating or reason, blue color in the whites of the eyes, fragile nails, mild dizziness when standing, pale skin, shortness of air and sore tongue. 

Lack of vitamin E also brings complications as difficulties to get pregnant and infertility. 

Symptoms of lack of vitamin E in the body 

When a person suffers from a deficiency of vitamin E, it presents the following symptoms:

  • loss of balance;
  • Loss of reflexes;
  • Lack of coordination;
  • Difficulty walking;
  • gastrointestinal diseases;
  • Dry hair;
  • Hair loss;
  • Limitation on the healing tissue;
  • Leg cramps;
  • Retinopathy of prematurity, eye disease observed in premature babies, which is a major cause of childhood blindness;
  • Weight loss and growth retardation in infants;
  • Problems of physical and mental development in infants;
  • chronic liver disease that causes neurological deficits in children;
  • severe loss of coordination of muscle movements with loss of deep tendon reflexes in children;
  • Ataxia (loss of muscle control voluntary movements) of the trunk and limbs in children;
  • Paralysis of the extraocular muscles responsible for eye movements in children;
  • Muscle weakness in children;
  • Drooping of the upper eyelid in children;
  • Dysarthria - speech articulation disorder - in children;
  • Slow growth in children;
  • neurological problems in adults;
  • Fragility of red blood cells in adults;
  • Age spots in adults;
  • Cataracts in adults;
  • Decreased libido in adults;
  • Abnormality in brain function, muscle, liver and bone marrow in adults.

The best way to diagnose a lack of vitamin E is making constant visits to the doctor, especially for babies, children, the elderly and pregnant women, and always tell him about any symptoms related to vitamin A deficiency and who is experiencing.

This is especially important due to the fact that some of the above symptoms are conditions that can not be identified by the patient on their own, as the fragility of red blood cells and liver disease, for example.

How to reset the lack of vitamin E? 

One way to replenish the shortage of vitamin E is to add foods that are nutrient sources in meals. In the following list, you can check some of these foods:

  • wheat germ oil;
  • Sunflower oil;
  • safflower oil;
  • Corn oil;
  • Soy oil;
  • Almond;
  • Peanut;
  • Hazelnut;
  • Sunflower seed;
  • Spinach;
  • Broccoli;
  • Peanut butter;
  • Kiwi;
  • Mango;
  • Tomato;
  • Tomato Sauce;
  • Avocado;
  • Asparagus;
  • Pecan;
  • dried apricots;
  • Blackberry.

Another way to replenish the lack of vitamin E is making the use of food supplements containing the nutrient. However, you should start using the supplement only after the doctor diagnose your problem and indicate the most suitable product for your case.

Because, as we saw above, excess vitamin E in the body can also bring health problems.

How to keep nutrients from food to cook 

To make good use of vitamin E, and other nutrients available in the foods you consume, it is important to pay attention to how they are prepared, as this can cause these nutrients are lost.

And the tactics to prevent this are: steaming, not slice a lot, cook with the skin, do not cook too long, use little water, prepare everything on high heat, do not store food for too long in the refrigerator and reuse the water used in cooking to prepare other food, because that water can retain nutrients, which instead of being lost, will be reused in another dish.

Have you ever been diagnosed with a lack of vitamin E in the body? What steps took your doctor about it? Comment below.