Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that comes in eight different forms.
It is commonly referred to as alpha-tocopherol when listed on labels.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that act to combat free radicals and protect cell structure.
It is credited with boosting immunity, reducing cholesterol and reducing the risk of developing cancer.
It is also believed to assist with restoring muscle tissue and aiding with reproductive health.
Vitamin E was first discovered in 1922 when researchers discovered that a compound found in wheat germ and lettuce assisted with reproduction rates in lab rats. It was finally isolated and synthesized in 1928.
Abetalipoproteinemia is an inherited disorder that makes it difficult for the body to absorb vitamin E.
People who suffer from this condition may experience muscle weakness and blindness.
Other signs of general vitamin E deficiency in adults include anemia, cataracts, age spots, wounds that are slow to heal, leg cramps, decreased sex drive and infertility. Children and infants suffering from deficiencies may experience developmental issues, lack of coordination, slow growth, drooping eyelids and liver disease.
Since vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, the body stores excess amounts of it instead of excreting them through sweat and urine. Vitamin E can cause health problems if too much of it builds up in the body. Excess vitamin E in the body can lead to hemorrhaging and hemorrhagic stroke. Signs that your body has absorbed too much of the vitamin include nausea, vomiting, skin rashes, blurred vision and fatigue.
The recommended daily dosage of Vitamin E depends on age.