Rheumatism, arteriosclerosis and cancer - these different diseases have one thing in common: They are caused by aggressive oxygen molecules, so-called free radicals. They damage vital proteins and lipids and promote the aging process. Among other things, they are formed by the metabolic processes taking place in the body.
Protection mechanism: the body's radical scavengers
The healthy body has its own protective mechanisms against the radical oxygen molecules. As a rule, these are rendered harmless in the cell by the body's own radical scavengers. However, if the body is exposed to permanent stress or chronic diseases, it needs outside help - for example in the form of vitamins.
Some vitamins are known to scavenge free radicals in the human body and render them harmless. In addition to vitamins A and C, vitamin E (tocopherol) belongs to this group of so-called antioxidants. Since it is not formed by humans themselves, it must be fed through the diet.
Foods with vitamin E
The following foods are particularly rich in vitamin E:
- Vegetable oils such as wheat germ, sunflower or corn oil
- Whole grains
The German Society of Nutrition (DGE) recommends a daily vitamin E intake of 12 milligrams for healthy adults. This corresponds to 18 International Units (IE). Over the diet, we usually consume enough vitamin E to meet the need, so deficiencies are rare in healthy individuals.
Lack of vitamin E: risk groups
However, vitamin E deficiency can occur in people with diabetes mellitus, lipid metabolism disorders, liver or biliary disorders, and those who suffer from persistent, "radical-promoting" stress. People with these diseases, as well as pregnant women, have an increased need.
To counteract diseases, some scientists recommend taking higher doses of the cell protecting vitamin E daily. Such high doses can not be achieved with food alone. The intake of a high-dose vitamin E preparation is recommended.
Vitamin E deficiency in rheumatism
In rheumatic complaints such as chronic polyarthritis occurs due to the inflammatory processes to an increase in free radicals and a lack of vitamin E. An additional vitamin E intake may be therapeutically useful. Scientific studies show that high dose (up to 800 IU daily) vitamin E successfully relieves the pain of inflammatory joint disease. Often it is combined with conventional rheumatism drugs.
Protection against arteriosclerosis and myocardial infarction
In the development of vascular calcifications, the so-called arteriosclerosis, including free radicals play a role. Cholesterol, that is, LDL cholesterol, is involved in the formation of vascular deposits, called plaques, and thus narrows the blood vessels. Free radicals react with this cholesterol form. The converted, oxidized LDL cholesterol deposits even better and lures other cells from the blood into the plaques, which are getting bigger and more dangerous.
Protection against this oxidation is provided by antioxidant vitamins. A study of more than 2, 000 heart disease patients showed that the regular intake of vitamin E in higher doses counteracted the progression of arteriosclerosis and prevented their episode, the heart attack. Similar results came from a study of 87, 000 healthy women. After the study period of eight years, it was found that the subjects who regularly took vitamin E, less frequently suffered from coronary heart disease (CHD).
Narrowed coronary arteries due to arteriosclerotic plaques are possible causes of coronary heart disease.
Beautiful skin with vitamin E.
Many skincare products such as creams and lotions contain vitamin E. For a long time you doubted if this makes sense. Today it is believed that vitamin E is taken up by the skin, where it develops its protective effect on cell membranes. The elasticity of the skin should be improved and the aging process should be stopped.
The fitness-maker among the vitamins
Jogging, cycling, swimming - sports make you fit and keep your body healthy. Athletes reduce stress and prevent cardiovascular disease. But especially in sports free radicals that damage the body - not only in high-performance sports, but already in recreational and recreational athletes. This is where the radical killer Vitamin E comes into the race and "defuses" the oxygen radicals that arise during sport. Vitamin E makes sport what it should be: healthy for body and mind!