Beware of the Impact of Vitamin E Deficiency on Body Health

Beware of the Impact of Vitamin E Deficiency on Body Health

Vitamin E is very important for the body because of its benefits to maintain the immune system and as an antioxidant. Lack of vitamin E intake in the body can actually have a negative impact on health, ranging from disorders of the eyes, skin, and even the brain.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that can be found in many foods. Although rare, vitamin E deficiency can still occur in anyone, both parents, adults, to newborns. Therefore, it is important for us to know the impact and risk factors for this vitamin deficiency.

Impact of Vitamin E Deficiency

Generally, symptoms of vitamin E deficiency are rare. However, a person may have difficulty performing activities, such as walking or picking up objects. This is because inadequate intake of vitamin E causes damage to nerves and muscles, so that coordination of body movements is disturbed and muscles weaken.

In addition, vitamin E deficiency can also cause the immune system to weaken. If it occurs in the long term, severe vitamin E deficiency can cause health problems, including:
  • Arrhythmia, which causes the heartbeat to become irregular
  • Dementia
  • Blindness
Even in pregnant women, vitamin E deficiency can pose a danger to the fetus. A study revealed that pregnant women who are deficient in vitamin E are more at risk of miscarriage. This is presumably because the antioxidants of this vitamin are needed to prevent tissue damage, including the fetus.

Therefore, in addition to taking folic acid and iron supplements, pregnant women are also highly recommended to consume food sources of vitamin E, such as vegetable oils, nuts, and a variety of green vegetables.

Risk Factors for Vitamin E Deficiency

Most cases of vitamin E deficiency occur due to impaired absorption of nutrients, especially fat, in the body. This condition usually occurs in people who have Crohn's disease, liver disease, and cystic fibrosis.

In addition, several other medical conditions are at risk of developing vitamin E deficiency, including:
  • Babies with low birth weight or who were born prematurely.
  • People undergoing gastric bypass surgery.
  • Children with certain genetic disorders, such as abetalipoproteinemia, which is a disorder in the absorption of fats and vitamins A, E, and K that is present from birth.
  • Short bowel syndrome, which is a condition of impaired absorption of nutrients that occurs due to surgical procedures, disorders of the intestines, or impaired blood flow.
Vitamin E has an important role in the body. Therefore, a lack of this vitamin can cause problems that interfere with health. Generally, vitamin E deficiency can be prevented by adequate intake of foods that contain lots of this vitamin.

However, people who are at high risk for vitamin E deficiency usually require additional vitamin E through supplements, of course with examination and advice from a doctor first.

If you have risk factors for vitamin E deficiency as above, and begin to experience balance problems, muscle weakness, or vision problems, consult your doctor about your condition to get the right treatment.