Let’s Have a Heart to Heart About Vitamin E

Quality for Life Editors11/22/16

Heart disease and stroke remain two of the leading causes of death for Americans, according to the American Heart Association’s Heart Disease and Stroke Statistical Update 2014.  It is never too early to take steps to keep your heart healthy long-term. What is one of the best ways to fight heart disease? A healthy diet.

Start by eating nutrient-rich foods that have vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients, including colorful fruits, vegetables, whole grains, poultry, fish and nuts.[1] Even if people follow a healthy diet, a busy lifestyle can make it difficult to obtain the recommended amounts of vitamins and minerals from food alone. One simple way to enhance your diet is with fortified foods, beverages and nutritional supplements.

Vitamin E may not be the first vitamin you think about for a healthy heart, but it is essential for the cardiovascular system to function optimally. Vitamin E exists in eight forms, including alpha-tocopherol, which is the only form recognized to meet human requirements. It functions as an antioxidant, protecting cells, tissues and organs from damaging effects caused by free radicals. Free radicals are responsible for the aging process and may lead to various health conditions such as heart disease, cancer and inflammatory conditions.

It is estimated that three-quarters of the population in developed countries do not meet the dietary intake recommendations for vitamin E.[2] If you are not eating a balanced diet full of milk, eggs, nuts, whole grains, spinach and avocados, then you may be missing out on recommended levels of vitamin E. The recommended intake for adults is 15 mg of vitamin E per day. [3]

Look for the Quali®-E logo on your favorite foods, beverages and supplements to be sure you are getting a high-quality and reliable vitamin E in your diet.

References

[1] American Heart Association Diet and Lifestyle Recommendations

[2] DSM (Feb. 6, 2014): “DSM proposes adaptations to vitamin E intake requirements to meet the needs of modern lifestyles”

[3] Nutri-Facts.org: http://www.nutri-facts.org/eng/vitamins/vitamin-e-tocopherol/at-a-glance/

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