Vitamins and minerals - Vitamin E 

  • Overview

Vitamin E 

Vitamin E has several important functions. For example, it helps maintain cell structure by protecting cell membranes.

Good sources of vitamin E

Vitamin E is found in a wide variety of foods. The richest sources are plant oils such as soya, corn and olive oil.

Other good sources include:

  • nuts and seeds
  • wheat germ, found in cereals and cereal products

How much vitamin E do I need?

The amount of vitamin E you need is:

  • 4mg a day for men
  • 3mg a day for women

You should be able to get all the vitamin E you need from your daily diet.

Any vitamin E your body does not need immediately is stored for future use, so you do not need it in your diet every day.

What happens if I take too much vitamin E?

There is not enough evidence to know what the effects might be of taking high doses of vitamin E supplements each day.

What does the Department of Health advise?

You should be able to get the amount of vitamin E you need by eating a varied and balanced diet. If you take vitamin E supplements, do not take too much.

Taking 540mg or less a day of vitamin E supplements is unlikely to cause any harm.

Page last reviewed: 26/11/2012

Next review due: 26/11/2014

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The 2 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

PlantStrong said on 07 June 2013

This didn't tell me the benefits of Vitamin E, why do I need vitamin E?

From what I have read this is why: vitamin E protects lung cells that are in constant contact with oxygen and white blood cells that help fight disease.

Vitamin E has been found to protect the brain from the progressive decline of mental functioning in older age. Vitamin E contains the antioxidants needed to counteract the damage done by free radicals on the brain. Studies have shown a 39% decrease in brain function. Vitamin E can be acquired easily in wheat germ, hazelnuts, peanuts (including peanut butter), sunflower seeds and almonds.


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johnross47 said on 26 October 2011

If I was American the recommended amount for me (65 years old and 60 kilos) would be 14.9mgs.

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