Why is vitamin E important?

Vitamin E was discovered and characterized as a fat soluble nutritional factor during reproductive studies with rats. This observation was published in1922 by Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop. 

That supplement, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), was eventually isolated from wheat germ oil in 1936. There are four different forms of tocopherol. The tocopherols have the same name except with the prefix alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta- (the first four letters of the Greek alphabet).

The four compounds are closely related, with some difference in the molecular weight and in the position and number of certain molecular constituents.

Vegetable oils and lipid rich plants products (e.g. nuts, seeds, grains) are the main dietary sources of vitamin E.

In Western diets, vitamin E intakes derives mainly from fats and oils contained in margarine, mayonnaise, salad dressing and desserts and also from fortified food such as breakfast cereals, milk and fruit juices. 

Function of Vitamin E
The vitamin is an antioxidant that serves to prevent the oxidation of some body components, such as unsaturated fatty acids, and is necessary for reproduction. This vitamin involved in several biological processes such as immunity, protection against tissue damage such as heart and nerve, reproduction, growth and development.

Vitamin E also slows the aging process, probably delaying the onset of such conditions as cataracts and wrinkles. And it helps heal or alleviated many minor health complaints – including everything from burns to menopausal hot flashes.

Vitamin E deficiency 
A primary deficiency of vitamin E is rare; deficiency is usually associated with diseases of fat malabsorption such as cystic fibrosis.

Without vitamin E, the red blood cells break open and spill their contents, probably due to oxidation of the polyunsaturated fatty acids in their membranes.

Muscular dystrophy is another equally important consequence of vitamin E deficiency. Skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscles and peripheral vascular system need vitamin E for their functioning.
Why is vitamin E important?

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