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How Does Vitamin E Support Your Immune System?

Vitamin E is an essential vitamin for your body and, alongside other nutrients, helps immunity to protect our bodies against potential illness and infection. This means ensuring your levels are at their optimum to help vitamin E function in the body. Learn benefits, dosages, and the signs of deficiency.

Table of Contents:

What is Vitamin E?

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, also known as tocopherol. Tocopherols are a group of antioxidants with Vitamin E activity, often found in multivitamin supplements that help to scavenge free radicals, support immunity and protect the body from oxidative stress. These could include skin supplements and immune system supplements.

It has distinctive antioxidant qualities which, in addition to supporting a healthy immune system, is involved in cell signalling, regulation of gene expression and other metabolic processes.

More simply, Vitamin E is a naturally occurring vitamin that can be found in numerous foods and plants. The vitamin is also readily available in numerous forms and as an over the counter vitamin supplementation. It’s primarily known as a powerful antioxidant, though studies have connected proper Vitamin E consumption to a range of other health benefits.

Health Benefits of Vitamin E

There are many health benefits of vitamin E which support your body in many vital ways. Ensuring your intake is optimal is important for supporting vitamin E function in the body. Some key benefits of vitamin E include:

Vitamin E Supports the Immune System

Vitamin E’s function in the body includes supporting the immune system and helping to prevent diseases. The vitamin contributes to this by supporting the growth of t cells. The role of the t cell is to fight infection. It does this by fighting against infected cells and activating other immune cells for an effective immune response. As a result, Vitamin E is a necessary tool in helping your body fight off (and prevent) infections.

Vitamin E Acts as an Antioxidant

Vitamin E functions in the body, in addition to immune support, thanks to its strong antioxidant qualities. These antioxidant qualities mean it can easily help to support hair growth and healthy skin by reducing cell damage and ensuring that your hair stays sleek and shiny. It may be included in hair, skin, and nails vitamins because of this quality. This also has a similar effect on your skin, ensuring that it stays smooth and blemish-free. In fact, you may notice that many of your skincare products contain extra Vitamin E.

Vitamin E Supplements

Including the nutrient in your diet can support vitamin E’s function in the body. Supplements can be purchased in the form of tablets from many retailers. Often, they can be purchased in conjunction with other necessary nutrients. Some supplement bundles or multivitamins will also contain other nutrients. These could include vitamin D supplements, vitamin B supplements, or vitamin K supplements. Taking a supplement can contribute to your overall health as well as helping to contribute to vitamin E’s function in the body surrounding immunity.

How Does Vitamin E Support the Immune System?

Vitamin E supports your immune system by assisting with t cell production which is essential for effective immune response. T cells support immune function and a deficiency can have a negative impact on the vitamin E function in the body.

Most importantly, Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant. To better understand antioxidants, we must first understand why they are needed and how they work.

Every cell contains three main defences against oxidation:

  • Prevention – each cell prevents free radicals from forming by inactivating catalysts and removing precursors of the free radicals
  • Interception – each cell consists of chain-breaking antioxidants (such as vitamin C) that scavenge free radicals to stop them from damaging the lipid membranes of the cells
  • Repair – cells rely on enzymes to help repair DNA or remove damaged parts that cannot be repaired. In some cases, this process results in apoptosis (programmed cell death) so that genetically damaged cells cannot grow.

Our body naturally creates ‘free radicals’ which are oxidised molecules which travel around the body and can cause harm. In order to fight these free radicals, our bodies must make antioxidants. However, sometimes it is simply not possible for our bodies to produce the necessary antioxidants it requires to fight infection. This results in oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is an imbalance of free agents and antioxidants which can be incredibly damaging to the body and can cause oxidative damage.

During oxidative stress, reactive oxygen species that are generated in the mitochondria cause electrons to leak out and stimulate the overproduction of superoxide radicals. If the body does not have enough antioxidant protection to neutralise these toxins, the lipid layers of cells can be damaged which can disrupt their integrity. This can cause an imbalance of vitamins/minerals and amino acids, DNA damage and protein oxidation which causes ageing. This is where antioxidants such as Vitamin E come into play. Therefore, by being an antioxidant, vitamin E functions in the body to support your immune system and reduce this oxidative stress.

20 Sources of Vitamin E

There are numerous reasons as to why you should try and increase the amount of Vitamin E you consume - within healthy limits. Luckily, it is readily available in numerous forms. Including vitamin E supplements as well as dietary sources of vitamin E can encourage your intake. This essential nutrient is available in fruits, vegetables, as well as nuts and seeds.

Vitamin E food sources

  1. Vitamin E supplements
  2. Sunflower seeds
  3. Almonds
  4. Hazelnuts
  5. Peanuts
  6. Pistachios
  7. Sunflower seeds
  8. Brazil nuts
  9. Avocado
  10. Kiwi
  11. Mango
  12. Blackberries
  13. Blackcurrants
  14. Raspberries
  15. Broccoli
  16. Butternut squash
  17. Asparagus
  18. Spinach
  19. Green beans
  20. Green leafy vegetables

The great thing about vitamin E is that it is available in lots of different food sources. Whilst some nutrients are commonly found in meats, fish, and dairy products, which can make it difficult for those with dietary restrictions. At BetterYou, we have vegan supplements, vegetarian supplements, and gluten-free supplements. This makes sure everyone can encourage their nutrition intake, even those following a specialised diet.



How Much Vitamin E to Take

As with all supplements, the dosage, or amount you should take, alters due to a number of variables including age, gender and weight. A vitamin supplement can help to keep your body functioning as it should and help to prevent infection.

The daily recommended dosages of vitamin E are:




0-6 months



7-12 months



1-3 years



4-8 years



9-13 years



14+ years




As the amount required for vitamin E’s function in the body is not a high dose, most people are able to maintain levels in their body through their diet. However, if you feel as though you are suffering from a Vitamin E related deficiency, you can take a variety of supplements to help replenish your body’s supply.

At BetterYou, knowing your nutrient levels is easier than ever with our at-home health checks. Finding out your levels from the comfort of your own home means you can stay on top of supplementation and encourage a healthy lifestyle.

3 Signs of Vitamin E Deficiency

It is important to note that vitamin E deficiency is quite rare due to the fact that most people are able to acquire the necessary dosage through their diet.

Despite this, some people are more prone than others to developing a deficiency and, as such, it is important to be able to identify symptoms. Identifying symptoms can help you resolve the issue as quickly as possible with dietary supplements. After all, if untreated, a vitamin E deficiency can limit the functioning of your immune system and other bodily functions, leading to poor health.

The most common symptoms of vitamin E deficiency include:

  1. Nerve and muscle damage
  2. Muscle weakness and lethargy
  3. Loss of feeling in arms and legs

However, with regular Vitamin E supplementation, as well as dietary changes, can help to resolve these issues. Always consult your doctor if you think you may be deficient and before taking supplements.

Supplementing with BetterYou

At BetterYou, we specialise in pill-free nutrient supplementation to support a healthy lifestyle. With sleep supplements to help you drift off, bone supplements to support bone strength, and health test kits to check your levels.

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