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Vitamin E


Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of eight fat-soluble compounds, including alpha-tocopherol, that have antioxidant powers in the body. Your cells will cheer vitamin E’s arrival—it lives in their membranes, protecting them from harm. Like vitamin C, E guards against damaging free radicals, including the ones you’re exposed to in air pollution, the sun’s UV light, and cigarette smoke. In addition, the body needs E to boost its immune system in order to fight off bacteria and viruses, and E also helps keep blood vessels dilated, preventing blood clots. Vitamin E is made by plants, so plant-based fats and oils are the best sources. It’s found naturally in vegetable oils (like olive, almond, and sunflower oils), nuts (like almonds, hazelnuts, and pine nuts), seeds (especially sunflower seeds), and avocado, and synthetic vitamin E is added to fortified cereals and fruit juices. You can also look for a multivitamin that contains E or take a separate supplement. Although a vitamin E deficiency is pretty rare in healthy people, it can be an issue for those who have illnesses that cause problems with fat digestion and absorption, like IBD and rare genetic diseases. One sign of an E deficiency is a weakened immune system, so it's a supplement to consider if you have an invisible illness.

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