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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.
Vitamin E has also been approved by the European Food Standards Agency for the claim 'Vitamin E contributes to the protection of cells from oxidative stress'.
How does Vitamin E help our eyes?
Various studies have shown that Vitamin E slows the progression of a number of age related degenerative conditions in the eye.
It is for this reason that the studies conducted by the US National Eye Institute included a daily dose of 400IU Vitamins E in their formulation and final recommendations to help maintain eye health.
Vitamin E also supports the immune system and cell membranes. Top Foods containing Vitamin E:
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 (see our FAQs for more details).