By chance I was just researching Vitamin E and my eyes froze on one of the deficiency symptoms ” cracked heels”. Why you ask? Because not only have I had cracked heels, but the soles of my feet have been giving me problems for years. I think possibly that because I always wear flip-flops it contributes to the condition but I cannot be sure of that. The main issue I had with my feet was my skin overlapping along the lines on my soles. I would periodically have soak my feet in Epson salts and cut the overlapping skin off with special pedicure scissors.
Not only that but bacteria would periodically proliferate within the folds causing the soles of my feet to become inflamed.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is found naturally in certain foods, “Vitamin E” is the collective name for a group of fat-soluble compounds with antioxidant activities. Serum concentrations of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) depend on the liver, which takes up the nutrient after it’s absorbed from the small intestine. The liver preferentially re-secretes alpha-tocopherol via the hepatic alpha-tocopherol transfer protein, the liver metabolizes and excretes the other vitamin E forms, As a result, blood and cellular concentrations of other forms of vitamin E are lower than those of alpha-tocopherol and have been the subjects of less research.
Vitamin E can be applied topically or taken internally.
What does Vitamin E do?
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is essential for the maintenance of healthy Skin, Hair, Eyes and the Heart.
As an antioxidant vitamin E protects cells from the damaging effects of free radicals, free radicals damage cells and can contribute to the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. Vitamin E as a fat-soluble antioxidant stops the production of ROS(reactive oxygen species) formed when fat undergoes oxidation. Researchers are investigating if by limiting free-radical production vitamin E might help prevent or delay the chronic diseases associated with free radicals.
Vitamin E as an antioxidant is particularly helpful for people who smoke, have exposure to air pollution, and have high exposure to ultraviolet rays from the sun.
Vitamin E Deficiency Symptoms
Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems. Another sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system, retinopathy (damage to the retina of the eyes that can impair vision), peripheral neuropathy (damage to the peripheral nerves, usually in the hands or feet, causing weakness or pain), Ataxia (loss of control of body movements), and decreased immune function.
Some of the Health Benefits
1. Balances Cholesterol
2. Fights Free Radicals and Prevents Disease Development
3. Repairs Damaged Skin
4. Thickens Hair
5. Balances Hormones
6. Helps PMS Symptoms
Synthetic vs Natural Vitamin E
The “pundits” claim there is little difference between the natural and synthetic forms of most vitamins. But I beg to differ, I always stick with the natural forms of vitamins, preferably in their natural food state, or extracted and put within a compound of bio-flavoanoids and other potential co-factors.
On supplement labels, natural vitamin E is listed as d-alpha tocopherol, d-alpha tocopheryl acetate, or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate. In contrast, the synthetic forms of vitamin E are labeled with a dl- prefix.
See my article “Food Derived Vitamins vs Synthetic Vitamins“.
Food Sources of Vitamin E
In regards to food, try to ingest organic foods as much as possible, and even better imported if you live in the USA. Reason being most food grown in the US is grown on soil that is nutritionally depleted, so eating many of the foods recommended below may have a minimal effect on your health unless its organic and preferably imported.
My advice is to have a healthy diet of organic fruits and vegetables rich in bioflavanoids so that if you ingest a vitamin isolate, so you can maximize its effect by consuming foods rich in the missing co-factors that that the vitamin needs to function properly within the body.
- Wheat germ oil
- Sunflower, safflower, and soybean oil
- Sunflower seeds
- Peanuts, peanut butter
- Beet greens, collard greens, spinach
- Red bell pepper
How Vitamin E has effected Me?
Well as I mentioned earlier, I had serious feet issues. But I started taking this non-synthetic Vitamin E-400 IU supplement from Now Brand. Unbelievably, within a couple of weeks of taking one tablet a day the skin flaps on the soles of my feet just disappeared as if they were never there. My heels still have some cracked skin, but most of the cracks have disappeared. I also am still observing myself to see the other potential benefits in regards to eyesight.
Necessary internet disclaimer: All information and resources found on Nothingsincurable.com are based on the opinions of the author unless otherwise noted. I am not a doctor nor do I have any medical training, all information is intended to motivate readers to make their own nutrition and health decisions after consulting with their health care provider. The author of this site encourages you to consult a doctor before making any health changes, especially any changes related to a specific diagnosis or condition