Vitamin E is otherwise known as Tocopherol or antisterility vitamin. Female rats with vitamin E deficiency are unable to carry the young ones throughout the gestation period.

    Vitamin E has a prominent role in maintaining the stability and integrity of cell membranes.
    It has a role in erythrocyte survival among premature infants
    It reduces the oxidation of vitamins A and C and sulphur containing amino acids. Through this activity it stabilizes the lipid parts of cell membrane
    The presence of vitamin E as a natural component of vegetable fats protects against rancidity.
    Polyunsaturated fatty acids have a role in brain development during infancy.
    The antioxidant property of vitamin E helps fatty acids from oxidation and thus it indirectly helps the brain development.

    Vitamin E deficiency is not common among human beings as it is widely distributed in foods.
    Experimental deficiency in female rats results in fetal death and in males testicular changes in sterility.
    Muscular dystrophy and paralysis are the other symptoms of vitamin E deficiency.
    If vitamin E deficiency is present in the pregnant mother transfer of placental blood to foetus is poor and so haemolytic anaemia may occur in the baby after delivery.
    Vitamin E deficiency in adults results in poor absorption of fat and increased haemolysis and increased excretion of urinary creatinine.
    Brown muscle pigment deposition called ceriod occurs with tocopherol deficiency.
    Liver necrosis, erythrocyte haemolysis and anaemia are the other symptoms.

    Richest sources: Cereal germ oils
    Fair sources: Vegetable oils and nuts

    For males 30 I.U. and for females 25 I.U. are recommended. Human milk supplies enough tocopherol for the infants. Daily balanced diet will supply sufficient Vitamin E, hence no deficiency is evident.

Last modified: Tuesday, 26 June 2012, 10:38 AM