Vitamin of the month: Vitamin E

Clinical nutritionist Suzie Sawyer introduces Vitamin E – the beauty vitamin.

Vitamin E is known as one of the ‘beauty’ vitamins for good reason. It’s a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant, which helps to protect the cells of the body from ageing free radicals. This means it can help protect the body from damaging toxic heavy metals and other compounds including environmental pollutants which speed up the ageing process. And that’s not all. It can also help protect the heart, lowering the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

Vitamin E’s chemical name is alpha-tocopherol, from the Greek word tokos, meaning offspring: it’s the main antioxidant in many cell membranes making it important for keeping sperm cells healthy, and is also thought to play a key role in egg fertilisation. So if you’re trying to conceive, it’s definitely an important nutrient to consider for both men and women.

Vitamin E is mainly found in foods containing polyunsaturated vegetable oils such as nuts, seeds and wholegrains. Avocados, berries and green leafy vegetables are also good sources, so try to include these in the diet as much as possible.

For more information about Vitamin E visit the Vitamin Fact File.