Vitamin Atlas

Vitamin E

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a class of 10 chemicals. Like Vitamin C, Vitamin E is an important antioxidant, meaning it neutralizes harmful free radicals. It is also involved in the expression of some genes and signaling between cells. Some of its role remains a mystery, and for that reason it is sometimes treated as a panacea.

What Types of Food Have Vitamin E?

Vitamin E in the World: Sicilian Sickness

Map

Click on the buttons to see how Vitamin E plays a role in your:

  • Digestive System
  • General Cellular Function

Digestive System

Vitamins can be fat-soluble or water-soluble. Vitamin E is fat-soluble, which means it only dissolves in fat. This makes a big difference in how our body absorbs it. Here, we see vitamin E from our food entering our stomach.

Digestive System

The Vitamin E then moves from the stomach into our small intestine. Here, if it were water-soluble, it would move right into our cells, which are full of water. Since it doesn’t dissolve in water, it can’t be absorbed just yet.

Digestive System

Vitamin E must be surrounded by bile in our small intestine. Bile helps vitamin E dissolve in water, so now it can be absorbed into our body. Certain diseases that prevent us from absorbing fat can also make us deficient in fat-soluble vitamins.

General Cellular Function

You may have heard that antioxidants are good for you, but do you know why? Normal bodily processes, including metabolism and immune function, can generate potentially damaging by-products (called “free radicals” and “reactive oxygen species”). If left alone, these can harm your cells.

General Cellular Function

This is where Vitamin E saves the day. As one of the main antioxidants in your body, Vitamin E turns these “free radicals” and “reactive oxygen species” into harmless substances, protecting your cells from any damage.