Vitamin E deficiency symptoms can be noticed in almost anybody; even the seemingly healthy individuals with a proper diet that includes Vitamin E rich foods and sources to enjoy the incredibly amazing Vitamin E benefits. Vitamin E supplement is not suggested to those who show Vitamin E deficiency symptoms since taking a Vitamin E supplement is associated with sever conditions.
Vitamin E deficiency ensues as vitamin E levels in the body fall from normal value. The normal amount of vitamin E required is different for different age groups, but as an average, it should be at least 30IU (20mg) per day in adults.
Since we humans can store this vitamin in our body, deficiencies do not really arise; vitamin E deficiency is however a matter of importance in people with malabsorptive states or those with some genetic diseases (such as cystic fibrosis) that impair and interfere in the absorption of the vitamins .
Vitamin E is an antioxidant and it protects the cells of human body from destruction that is caused by everyday chemical reactions taking place inside the body producing harmful and highly reacting free radical species.
Vitamin E deficiency can arise in all those individuals who do not take a healthy and balanced diet. Balanced diet is a diet full of all essential nutrients required by the body.
Vitamin E deficiency symptoms:
Following symptoms in body may point out vitamin E deficiency. It is important however to remember that these symptoms are not only a result of Vitamin E deficiency, they may also arise due to other disorders or deficiencies or diseases that might be present in the body.
Even if you have observed more than three to four symptoms in your body, it is advisable that you visit your doctor before jumping to any conclusions; for your doctor will have the best idea about your body in your case.
– Anemia may highlight vitamin E deficiency. Anemia is a disorder in which there are low levels of either the red blood cells or hemoglobin in the body.
Hemoglobin is a pigmented protein in the red blood cells that contains iron and carries oxygen to the cells and tissues of different body organs; it also imparts the characteristic red color to the red blood cells.
Hemolytic anemia is a type of anemia in which the red blood cells are broken down more than normal. A research in infants threw the light over the fact that this breakage of red blood cells is associated with vitamin E deficiency in infants; the anemia was resolved as soon as vitamin E was delivered to the infants. Anemia is easy to rule out with peripheral blood film in which the red blood cells are observed under microscope. Usually infants with low birth weight are Vitamin E deficient. Historically, Vitamin E was used for first time in therapy was in 1939 to treat 17 premature newborn infants who suffered from growth failure. Eleven out of the 17 infants have been recovered and were able to grow within the normal growth rate after treatment.
– Effects on central nervous system accompany Vitamin E deficiency. Vitamin E deficiency will cause nerve degeneration in hands and feet leading to tingling and burning sensations in the respective areas. Presence of poor reflexes (hyporeflexia) is another symptom of vitamin E deficiency. Reflexes are involuntary movements that are normally performed by our body in anticipation of imparting protection to it from sudden injuries. Doctors rule out conditions related to nerve injuries by manipulating our reflexes.
Another neurological Vitamin E Deficiency symptom will be dysarthria (difficulty in speech delivery due to degeneration of nerves of muscles of articulation), loss of vibratory sensation and proprioception. The sense of proprioception is important to maintain body balance in space. If this sense is lost, balance is lost. Ataxia may also present as one of the Vitamin E Deficiency Symptoms. Ataxia is loss of muscular coordination in the body which also contributes to loss of balance.
– Male infertility has been linked with vitamin E deficiency. Impotence and prostate enlargement have been observed in men. There have not been any conclusive results but the laboratory findings contribute to some evidence. As I have mentioned previously, Vitamin E protects against genetic alternation of human cells that may cause cancers including prostate cancer.
– Mayopathies are pathologies or diseases of muscles. Vitamin E deficiency can cause myopathies showing that the muscle fiber function may be impaired. Diffuse muscle weakness with leg cramps have been observed in people with low vitamin levels.
– Age spots are a visible vitamin E deficiency Symptom. Age spots involve brown pigmentation of skin. This brown pigment (known as lipofuscin) which contributes to the formation of age spots is formed as a result of wear and tear of body tissues. Lipofuscin is a marker of aging and increases in cells with age. More lipofuscin means easy aging and wear and tear of body tissues.
– Problems associated with vision are found to be a part of vitamin E deficiency. Retinopathies are observed in vitamin E deficient patients. The retina is a layer of eyeball where image is formed. It is because of this layer we can see. Thinning and damage is observed to be a vitamin E deficiency Symptom in this layer causing problems associated with vision such as blurred vision. Vision associated problems may also be a symptom of deficiency of Vitamin A in the body.
In some people, eye muscles are so badly affected that they may get paralyzed; they eye lids in some people droop due to extreme deficiency of vitamin E.
– Vitamin E deficiency has been associated with hair loss. Vitamin E stabilizes the cell membranes of hair follicles providing them all the physical strength they need cum reducing the rate of hair fall. Vitamin E improves blood supply to the hair follicles by helping to grow new capillaries which improve the oxygenation of cells in the vicinity. It also causes damaged follicles to heal and helps the follicles to regrow. Increased hair loss is therefore may be considered as an obvious Vitamin E deficiency Symptom.
– Vitamin E deficiency causes sluggish wound healing and repair. Vitamin E and vitamin C are both important for body tissue healing and repair. As pointed out earlier, vitamin E protects the body tissues against oxidizing reactions in the body; Vitamin E also aids in graft healing.
– Severe Vitamin E deficiency can also cause liver and bone marrow dysfunction. Vitamin E deficiency Symptoms in such cases can be associated to reduced production of blood cells leading to Anemia and low white blood cells count.
– Decreased libido (the sexual drive) in both males and females may also be partly due to Vitamin E deficiency.
– In infants, weight loss and decreased appetite may be a strong Vitamin E Deficiency Symptom. Other developmental problems such as delayed growth may also show up in Vitamin E deficient infants.
– Extreme Vitamin E deficiency in females may cause miscarriage and possibly uterine deterioration.
Vitamin E rich foods including fruits such as papaya and kiwifruit, vegetables such as mustard greens, turnip greens, broccoli, Brussels etc., nuts such as almonds, peanuts and apricots and sea foods like orange roughy, rock fish and blue crabs, are all a good way to replenish body stores of Vitamin E. It is always good to consume natural food especially fresh fruits and vegetables since these foods provide extra health benefits.