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VITAMIN E (Systemic)
Some commonly used brand names are:
In the U.S.—
Generic name product may be available in the U.S. and Canada.
Another commonly used name is alpha tocopherol .
Vitamins (VYE-ta-mins) are compounds that you must have for growth and health. They are needed in only small amounts and are available in the foods that you eat. Vitamin E prevents a chemical reaction called oxidation, which can sometimes result in harmful effects in your body. It is also important for the proper function of nerves and muscles.
Some conditions may increase your need for vitamin E. These include:
Increased need for vitamin E should be determined by your health care professional.
Infants who are receiving a formula that is not fortified with vitamin E may be likely to have a vitamin E deficiency. Also, diets high in polyunsaturated fatty acids may increase your need for vitamin E.
Claims that vitamin E is effective for treatment of cancer and for prevention or treatment of acne, aging, loss of hair, bee stings, liver spots on the hands, bursitis, diaper rash, frostbite, stomach ulcer, heart attacks, labor pains, certain blood diseases, miscarriage, muscular dystrophy, poor posture, sexual impotence, sterility, infertility, menopause, sunburn, and lung damage from air pollution have not been proven. Although vitamin E is being used to prevent certain types of cancer, there is not enough information to show that this is effective.
Lack of vitamin E is extremely rare, except in people who have a disease in which it is not absorbed into the body.
Vitamin E is available without a prescription in the following dosage forms:
Importance of DietFor good health, it is important that you eat a balanced and varied diet. Follow carefully any diet program your health care professional may recommend. For your specific dietary vitamin and/or mineral needs, ask your health care professional for a list of appropriate foods. If you think that you are not getting enough vitamins and/or minerals in your diet, you may choose to take a dietary supplement.
Vitamin E is found in various foods including vegetable oils (corn, cottonseed, soybean, safflower), wheat germ, whole-grain cereals, and green leafy vegetables. Cooking and storage may destroy some of the vitamin E in foods.
Vitamin supplements alone will not take the place of a good diet and will not provide energy. Your body also needs other substances found in food such as protein, minerals, carbohydrates, and fat. Vitamins themselves often cannot work without the presence of other foods. For example, small amounts of fat are needed so that vitamin E can be absorbed into the body.
The daily amount of vitamin E needed is defined in several different ways.
Vitamin E is available in various forms, including d - or dl -alpha tocopheryl acetate, d - or dl -alpha tocopherol, and d - or dl -alpha tocopheryl acid succinate. In the past, the RDA for vitamin E have been expressed in Units. This term has been replaced by alpha tocopherol equivalents (alpha-TE) or milligrams (mg) of d -alpha tocopherol. One Unit is equivalent to 1 mg of dl -alpha tocopherol acetate or 0.6 mg d -alpha tocopherol. Most products available in stores continue to be labeled in Units.
Normal daily recommended intakes in milligrams (mg) of alpha tocopherol equivalents (mg alpha-TE) and Units for vitamin E are generally defined as follows:
Before Using This Dietary Supplement
If you are taking this dietary supplement without a prescription, carefully read and follow any precautions on the label. For vitamin E, the following should be considered:
Allergies—Tell your health care professional if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to vitamin E. Also, tell your health care professional if you are allergic to any other substances, such as foods, preservatives, or dyes.
Pregnancy—It is especially important that you are receiving enough vitamins when you become pregnant and that you continue to receive the right amount of vitamins throughout your pregnancy. The healthy growth and development of the fetus depend on a steady supply of nutrients from the mother. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement during pregnancy may be harmful and should be avoided.
Breast-feeding—It is especially important that you receive the right amounts of vitamins so that your baby will also get the vitamins needed to grow properly. You should also check with your health care professional if you are giving your baby an unfortified formula. In that case, the baby must get the vitamins needed some other way. However, taking large amounts of a dietary supplement while breast-feeding may be harmful to the mother and/or baby and should be avoided.
Children—Problems in children have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts. You should check with your health care professional if you are giving your baby an unfortified formula. In that case, the baby must get the vitamins needed some other way. Some studies have shown that premature infants may have low levels of vitamin E. Your health care professional may recommend a vitamin E supplement.
Older adults—Problems in older adults have not been reported with intake of normal daily recommended amounts.
Medicines or other dietary supplements—Although certain medicines or dietary supplements should not be used together at all, in other cases they may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your health care professional may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. Tell your health care professional if you are taking any other prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicine.
Other medical problems—The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of vitamin E. Make sure you tell your health care professional if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Proper Use of This Dietary Supplement
Dosing—The amount of vitamin E needed to meet normal daily recommended intakes will be different for different individuals. The following information includes only the average amounts of vitamin E.
For individuals taking the oral liquid form of this dietary supplement :
Missed dose—If you miss taking a vitamin for one or more days there is no cause for concern, since it takes some time for your body to become seriously low in vitamins. However, if your health care professional has recommended that you take this vitamin, try to remember to take it as directed every day.
Storage—To store this dietary supplement:
Side Effects of This Dietary Supplement
Along with its needed effects, a dietary supplement may cause some unwanted effects. When used for short periods of time at recommended doses, vitamin E usually does not cause any side effects. However, check with your health care professional as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
With doses greater than 400 Units a day and long-term useBlurred vision; diarrhea; dizziness; headache; nausea or stomach cramps; unusual tiredness or weakness
Other side effects not listed above may also occur in some individuals. If you notice any other effects, check with your health care professional.
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