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Vitamin E

We cannot make Vitamin E so need to take it in our diet through food to ensure good eye health.

Vitamin E is found relatively freely in our diet, it has various actions including anti-oxidant properties.

It is this powerful anti-oxidant action that protects cell membranes from the damaging effects of free radicals. These are unstable and are able to damage and destroy our cells.

This anti-oxidant protection is important as it then maintains the structure of the cells at the back of the eye, preventing their degeneration.

How does Vitamin E help our eyes?
Vitamin E slows the progression of AMD and cataracts.

Studies have indicated that cataract formation also may be delayed by supplementing the diet with vitamin E. A recent study demonstrated that higher dietary intakes of lutein and zeaxanthin and vitamin E were associated with significantly decreased risks of cataracts.

The Age-Related Eye Disease Study (or AREDS), sponsored by the National Eye Institute, showed that a 400 IU/day of vitamin E, taken with antioxidants beta-carotene, vitamin C and zinc supplementation, slows the progression of advanced age-related macular degeneration (AMD) by about 25 percent .

Vitamin E also supports the immune system and cell membranes.

Top Foods containing Vitamin E:
  • Oils
  • Spreads
  • Fortified cereals
  • Nuts
  • Nut butters
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Seeds

This list shows how diets low in fat can reduce Vitamin E levels. In adults, symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include nerve damage, muscle weakness, poor coordination and anaemia. Vitamin E is a fat soluble supplement that should not be taken in excess by anyone taking supplements or medications that have blood thinning qualities such as warfarin.