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Vitamin E: Don't Overdo It

Vitamin E: Don't Overdo It

You may or may not take a multivitamin. Some folks like to use them as a nutritional safety net in case they are missing the necessary vitamins and minerals from their daily diet. But it is hard to keep track of all those vitamins and minerals, especially the ones we don't often hear about, such as vitamin E.


This fat-soluble vitamin is linked to a strong immune system, and is necessary for healthy skin and eyes. Although there are eight different forms of vitamin E, alpha-tocopherol is the most active form in people, so you'll often see dosing and recommended daily intake (RDI) allowances in a-tocopherol equivalents (ATE).

Since vitamin E has antioxidant properties, people thought that popping vitamin E pills would help prevent certain diseases like cancer. Unfortunately, studies on humans haven't been promising and actually show that too much vitamin E can increase a person's risk of death. That's why it's necessary to make sure you're not exceeding the RDI for this vitamin. For adults 18 or older, the RDI of vitamin E is 15 milligrams per day. Most people obtain enough from their diet alone so supplements aren't necessary. Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, your body stores excesses in your liver and fatty tissues, so a deficiency is rare.

To find out how much vitamin E is found in certain foods, read more.

Food Milligrams of alpha-tocopherol
1 tbsp wheat germ oil 26.2
1 oz. almonds 7.5
1 oz. sunflower seeds 6
1 tbsp sunflower oil 5.6
1 tbsp safflower oi 4.6
1 oz. hazelnuts 4.3
2 tbsp peanut butter 4.2
1 oz. peanuts 2.2
1 mango 2.3
1 tbsp corn oil 1.9
1 cup raw spinach .6
1/2 cup boiled spinach 1.6
1/2 cup boiled broccoli 1.5
1 tbsp soybean oil 1.3
1 medium kiwi 1.1
1 oz. pistachio nuts 1.2

Fit's Tip: If by looking at the chart you think you're not getting enough vitamin E, talk to your doctor first before taking a supplement.

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