This Article is About
vitamin e
green leafy vegetables
fat soluble vitamins
egg yolks
white blood cells
heart disease cancer
free radical damage
wheat germ
Vitamin E And K
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Vitamin E

It is also known as alpha tocopherol and it is a powerful antioxidant, one of the body’s primary defenders against free radical damage to cells and cell membranes. Working with the mineral selenium, it prevents oxidation of fat and cholesterol, so helping prevent heart disease, cancer and other degenerative problems. It also protects the lungs from damaging air pollutants and has an important role in maintaining healthy red and white blood cells.

Sources of vitamin E

Small amounts are widely distributed in many plant foods. Larger amounts come in green leafy vegetables, unrefined cereals, nuts, seeds, pulses, tofu and sweet potatoes. The richest sources are wheat germ, soya, corn and canola oils and sunflower seeds. Since heat destroys vitamin E, cold pressed oils are better source than refined or processed ones. Animal sources are egg yolks and liver.

Deficiency is rare because it is so widely available in so many foods.

Toxicity is also rare as vitamin E is better tolerated than the other fat soluble vitamins.

Vitamin K

This is special in that about half of what we need is made by bacteria in the small intestine, from where it is absorbed and stored in the liver. The rest is easily supplied from food.

Function for vitamin K

It is one of the many factors in the cascade of reactions that cause blood to clot. It also has a role in the growth and maintenance of healthy bones.

Food sources of Vitamin K

Green, leafy vegetables of the cabbage family are the richest plant source. Smallest but significant amounts are in cereals, fruits and other vegetables. Animal sources are milk, eggs and meat, particularly liver.

The Cabbage Connection

The first widely published anti-cancer plant was the humble cabbage. Epidemiologists had been looking at diets and cancer incidence and they found that the more cabbage in the diet, the lower the incidence of cancer. Studies of plants themselves showed that they contained many phytochemicals with anti-cancer and anti-ageing properties. Since then all the commonly used plant foods have been studied and helpful phytochemicals have been found in all of them. Thousands have been identified and hundreds of epidemiological studies have confirmed that the more whole plant foods in the diet the healthier the individual.

Deficiency is possible when drugs interfere with the absorption of vitamin K or destroy the bacteria that produce it in the gut. Serious deficiency causes uncontrolled bleeding and can be fatal.

Toxicity is rare but can occur from excess supplement use.


Street Talk

Hello Martha, This is a very educative article. Thank you for the tips.

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  about 6 years ago
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