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Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects body tissue from damage caused by substances called free radicals. Free radicals can harm cells, tissues, and organs. They are believed to play a role in certain conditions related to aging.
The body also needs vitamin E to help keep the immune system strong against viruses and bacteria.
Vitamin E is also important in the formation of red blood cells and it helps the body use vitamin K. It also helps widen blood vessels and keep blood from clotting inside them.
Cells use vitamin E to interact with each other and carry out many important functions.
Whether vitamin E can prevent cancer, heart disease, dementia, liver disease, and stroke is still not known.
Escott-Stump S, ed. Nutrition and Diagnosis-Related Care. 6th ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins; 2008.
Sarubin Fragaakis A, Thomson C. The Health Professional's Guide to Popular Dietary Supplements. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: American Dietetic Association; 2007.
Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intake: Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. National Academy Press, Washington, DC, 2000.
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