All about Vitamin E Deficiency


Among many nutrients, which are required in the body, vitamins are the one of the major nutrients. A vitamin is an organic compound distinct from fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. There are thirteen types of vitamins.

  1. Vitamin A
  2. Vitamin D
  3. Vitamin E
  4. Vitamin k
  5. Vitamin C
  6. Vitamin B1
  7. Vitamin B2
  8. Niacin
  9. Vitamin B6
  10. Folic acid
  11. Biotin
  12. Pantothenic acid
  13. Vitamin B 12

Vitamin ADEK are fat soluble vitamin and vitamin B and C are water soluble.


Vitamin E has a fundamental role in the normal metabolism of all cells. It is tocopherols and tocotrienols. Its deficiency can affect many organs of the body. It is synthesised only by plants and is found mainly in plant products. The richest source is plant oil. Green plants have more vitamin E than yellow plants. Tocopherol form is more common and is found in wheat germ, sunflower and safflower oil. It is a fat-soluble vitamin. Vitamin E in human and animals are found in vegetable oils, seeds and cereal grains.


  • AGEING- Vit E acts as an anti oxidant which prevents free radicals from damaging cells in the body and skin.
  • CANCER – Vit E protect against the cancer development by reacting directly with the carcinogens altering metabolic activation, enhancing immune system and inhibiting cell proliferation.
  • CARDIOVASCULAR DISEASES – Vit E deficiency may lead to coronary heart disease. Alpha tocopherol decreases the effect of cardio vascular disease.
  • CATARACT – Vit E reduces or delays cataract. This is mainly because of the anti oxidant property.
  • DIABETES – subjects with high level of plasma glucose have oxidative stress. Vit E delay the effect of diabetic vascular complications.
  • HEMODIALYSIS – hemodialysis patients are more prone for oxidative stress. Vitamin E helps as an anti oxidant to them.
  • IMMUNITY AND INFECTION – anti oxidant property of vitamin E acts as an immune stimulatory effect. With growing age immunity decreases in the person and they are prone to infections.
  • INFLAMMATORY DISEASE – In several inflammatory disease like cystic fibrosis, hepatitis, rheumatoid arthritis, levels of oxidative DNA damage increases. Vit E can reduce joint swelling.
  • LUNG DISEASE – Vit E causes healthy liver function. They help in preventing against the harmful radiations of ozone.
  • NEURO DEGENERATIVE DISORDERS – Vit E can prevent the neurological disorder like Parkinson, Alzheimer disease.
  • SKIN DISORDER – topical treatment against vitamin E prevents the skin damage due to UV radiations. Regular usage of vitamin E reduces wrinkle and skin roughness.


  1. NERVOUS SYSTEM – deficiency of Vit E can cause nervous system related problems. This includes burning sensation, numbness, tingling and pin needling sensation. It includes loss of sensation in hands, feet, arms and legs. Vitamin E deficiency can cause poor balance due to decreased proprioception. Person is unable to do certain basic test like standing straight with narrow base of support with eye close. In severe cases, it includes hyporeflexia ana positive babinski sign which means fanning of fingers upwards while scratching the feet.
  2. CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM – Vit E deficiency can lead to stroke, heart failure. It leads to atherosclerosis .
  3. MUSCULAR SYSTEM – Vit E deficiency may lead to muscle cramps. There is a sudden, painful contraction in the legs. Generally cramps occurs at night while sleep. Vit E may lead to myopathy leading to muscular weakness. Person may experience pain in the legs along with weakness.
  4. FERTILITY PROBLEMS – Vit E deficiency may lead to pre menstrual symptoms like stomach pain, bloating, cramping and headache. In severe cases, it may lead to miscarriage. Vit E deficiency may lead to decrease in sperm quality.
  5. IMMUNE SYSTEM – Vit E deficiency may lead to weakening of the immune system. Person is prone to get infections early.
  6. CANCER – prolonged vitamin E deficiency may lead to increase risk of cancer.
  7. SKIN PROBLEMS- Vit E deficiency may lead dry skin, early ageing and increasing wrinkles on the skin. Face looks dull. Glow on the face decreases. In some cases problems like eczema, psoriasis may also occur.
  8. HAIR PROBLEMS – Vit E deficiency can cause hair problems like loss of hair.
  9. EYE PROBLEMS – Vit E deficiency may lead to retinal thinning, cataracts and blurred vision.
  10. ANAEMIA – Vit E deficiency can cause low amount of red blood cells leading to anaemia.
  11. LIVER PROBLEMS – there can be increased bilirubin levels in long standing Vit E deficiency.


  1. DIET

It is recommended to take diet rich in vitamin E. The food rich in vitamin E are:

Vitamin E Food

  • Vegetable oil
  • Seeds
  • Nuts
  • Cereal grains
  • Oats
  • Barley
  • Rice
  • Green leafy vegetables
  • Shellfish – shrimp
  • Trout fish
  • Avocados
  • Fruits – kiwi. Some other fruits are mangos, guava, peach, blackberries, mulberries

One should consult a proper dietician to plan a balanced diet.


15 mg of vitamin E is required in the diet every day in age group above 20 years. Approximately 19 mg is required in lactating women.



According to a survey lack of physical activity leads to lack reservation of vitamin E hence leading to vitamin E deficiency. It is required to go for regular aerobic exercises. This includes brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling and swimming. Start with mild exercises. Always follow warm up phase, then exercise phase and then last cool down phase. Plan with your physiotherapist for proper exercises.


According to a survey, drinking chlorinated water may destroy vitamin E in body.


With consultation of your physician, take vitamin E supplements regularly to overcome the deficiency. Sometimes in prolonged deficiency physicians advice for injections followed by oral intake.

  1. Limit trans and saturated fats, excessive sugar and salt    

This is all about vitamin E. All vitamins are necessary for the body in correct proportion. Consult a proper physician and a dietician to plan a diet chart to get the vitamins in a correct amount and for medicines, you always have Medlife. Order medicines online at discounted prices from Medlife.

Dr. Vidhi Jain
Dr. Vidhi works as the Head of Department at Vinayak physiotherapy, a state of art multi-specialty physiotherapy clinic located in Vinayak Hospital at Noida. A Masters in Physiotherapy in Orthopedics and a member of Indian Association of Physiotherapy, She was nominated as "Best Physiotherapist" in Noida. She regularly visits private and government companies to spread awareness about Physiotherapy.


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