Vitamin E is an antioxidant and one of the essential vitamins our bodies need to play the key functions of fighting free radicals and preventing lipid destruction in cell-membranes. Vitamin E is fat-soluble and therefore, it is stored in the body tissues and used when needed.
This vitamin is available in all the multivitamin supplements you take. To look for halal vitamin E compositions, you must know different types of Vitamin E.
Types of Vitamin E
Vitamin E comes in 8 different forms, all of which are originally derived from plant sources.
The first type is called tocopherols. This type subdivides into 4: alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, beta tocopherol, and delta-tocopherol. These tocopherols are extracted from soy oil and sometimes, wheat germ is also the source.
Among these types, alpha tocopherols are highly required by our bodies. The body preferentially stores alpha-tocopherol to assist in body functions. The rest of the forms of Vitamin E that the body receives through the topical intake or otherwise are actively metabolized.
There are some claims about the exclusive potency of gamma-tocopherol to serve human well being also. One study associated gamma tocopherols with the reduced risk of prostate cancer. However, general studies in this regard, support the fact that the presence of gamma-tocopherol undoubtedly allows for the effective activity of alpha tocopherols.
The second type is the Tocotrienols. They also come in four forms: alpha tocotrienols, beta tocotrienol, gamma and delta tocotrienols. Tocotrienol is derived from palm oil and rice brans and is comparatively more permeable to cell membranes, making them the more preferable type.
Things You Need To Know About Vitamin E Supplements
The Vitamin E supplements available in the market come in two forms. One is man-made called the synthetic form, and the other is natural. While selecting a vitamin product, how do you identify which one is natural or halal and safe for a Muslim diet? All you need to do is check out the bottle. A bottle with a label of DL alpha-tocopherol means synthetic vitamin E.
The synthetic Vitamin E, DL- alpha-tocopherol, is chemically made using petroleum products. It is a chemical formula which is not dangerous — as such — but, it is not easily accepted by the body. Also, the synthetic form is required three times more than the natural form of Vitamin E.
There is also a semi-synthetic form offered — to be circumstantial — which contains plant elixirs in some proportions, besides the obvious petroleum extracts. This type is largely used in vitamin E supplements because it is easily synthesized by the body as compared to its counterpart.
In 100% natural products of Vitamin E, there is only a D, the products say D alpha-tocopherol.
There is no replacement to the benefits of a natural form of vitamin E, given it is consumed in an optimal quantity. The recommended upper limit to take the D form of alpha-tocopherol is 1,000 IU per day, according to the National Institute of Health.
The better option is to go for a vitamin supplement which offers 100% natural Vitamin E. It is more biologically active and suitable for a vegan, halal, and kosher diet. The synthetic form — often referred to as alpha-tocopheryl — to the contrary may involve certain ingredients which are not acceptable in a restricted diet.
Besides ensuring that the Vitamin E supplement is halal, kosher, and vegan-friendly, you should also look for whether it is a non-GMO. GMO products are evidently harmful to health, no matter what amount of essential nutrients they are providing.
Note: In the arrangement of D and DL alpha tocopherols, the vitamin supplements do not exclude other types of Vitamin E such as gamma, beta, and delta, rather ‘alpha-tocopherol’ is representative of all the inherent ingredients of vitamin E.
The Benefits of Vitamin E
There are innumerable benefits of both Vitamin E consumption and topical application. Vitamin E is touted the most for skin benefits, but there are many other striking advantages that you should know.
Fights off Free Radicals
The core function of Vitamin E, as an antioxidant is to fight free radicals. Free radicals oxidize the body which can be harmful to cells, tissues, and certain body organs. Deoxidation becomes necessary or else the organs may misbehave leading to several heart and other degenerative diseases.
Improves Skin Health
Vitamin E works wonderfully for the skin. It improves skin texture, color, and fights off aging effects.
Vitamin E in combination with vitamin C provides sun protection.
As an oil when applied topically, Vitamin E helps prevent wrinkles and other stark signs of aging. It also stops cell mutation and acts as a defence to pollution.
Not only does Vitamin E improves skin health but it also fixes damaged skin. It repairs damaged cells and rejuvenates skin youth.
Reduces Cancer Risks
Vitamin E reduces significantly the risks of colon, prostate, and lung cancer. It is a powerful substance, which identifies and destroys the harmful molecules. These molecules, commonly known as free radicals, if not immediately combatted, can affect your DNA and increase cancer risks in humans.
This vitamin is healthy for overall health. It improves the body’s immunity to for defence against harmful external substances. The improved immunity allows for enhanced mental and physical health, improves physical endurance and reduces the levels of oxidative stress.
Triggers Blood Cell Formation
Vitamin E catalyzes the formation of blood cells and preserves blood cells from early decay. It also helps in the absorption of vitamin K which stops blood from clotting excessively.
Sustains Cardiovascular Health
Vitamin E is critical for cardiovascular health. It maintains healthy cholesterol and studies have concluded that Vitamin E serves as a protective antioxidant that fights cholesterol oxidation.
Helps in PMS
In terms of women’s menstrual health, Vitamin E has shown to be beneficial as well. Maintaining an adequate intake can provide relief against pre and post menstrual anxiety and reduce excessive blood loss. It regulates the hormones so that the cycle is regular and painless.
Gives Volume to Hair
Vitamin E oil is all that you need for stunning hair look. It works amazingly and fast by boosting blood circulation, resulting in the rapid growth of hair. Fast growth increases hair volume giving you long and lustrous hair. It also moisturizes scalp and follicles.
Halal Sources of Vitamin E
The National Health Survey has found out that most Americans are Vitamin E deficient. This is mainly due to an imbalanced diet. The following are the main halal sources that should be incorporated in a daily routine to preserve adequate levels of Vitamin E in the body.
Vitamin E is extracted from vegetable oils. Taking oils naturally can help stack up good Vitamin E levels. Soy, wheat germ, safflower, sunflower and corn oil are the key oil sources.
Nuts and Seeds
Nuts and help you get the essential amount of Vitamin E. Almonds, peanuts, and hazelnuts are great to meet the RDI; additionally, sunflower seeds are also a healthy option.
Green Leafy Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables are the powerhouse of all basic nutrients. Spinach and broccoli are great sources of Vitamin E
If the natural form of food isn’t giving the right amounts, you should look for vitamin E in fortified cereals, juices, and other products.
Vitamin E can be the panacea to all health problems, provided you take it seriously. Add up vitamin E supplements in your routine if you can not maintain a healthy diet. Don’t forget to choose the natural and non-GMO vitamin E product. For 100% Halal and Vegan-friendly vitamin supplements, visit Amanah Vitamins.
Dr. Dina Khairie is a medical specialist who has spent nearly a decade in key positions at NoorVitamins. After receiving her doctorate in pharmacy from St. John’s University in New York, she began her career working as a supervising clinical pharmacist in the community pharmacy arena.