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Vitamin E


Vitamin E is a fat soluble vitamin that functions as an important antioxidant to protect the body from damage caused by substances called free radicals.



Good food sources of vitamin E include:

  • vegetable oils,
  • nuts and seeds,
  • green leafy vegetables,
  • egg yolks, and
  • fortified foods such as breakfast cereals, fruit juices, margarines and spreads.


Vitamin E can be destroyed by over cooking and exposure to oxygen, so ensure that foods containing vitamin E are stored in airtight containers and not kept for too long.



The amount of vitamin E that is likely to be adequate depends on your age and gender. The Adequate Intake (AI) below reflects the amount estimated to be adequate for most people.


  AI (as α-tocopherol equivalents) (mg/day)                                            
0-6 months 4
7-12 months 5
1-3 years 5
4-8 years 6
Boys (9-13 years) 9
Girls (9-13 years) 8
Boys(14-18 years) 10
Girls (14-18 years) 8
Men (19+ years) 10
Women (19+ years) 7


Deficiency is rare as vitamin E is widely available in foods and is stored in the body’s fat cells. However, you may be at risk if you suffer from fat malabsorption conditions. Symptoms may include muscle weakness and nerve damage affecting coordination, reflexes, balance and vision.



High doses of vitamin E in supplement form may increase the risk of bleeding including in the brain, and increase the risk of birth defects.



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.



Medline Plus Medical Encyclopaedia


National Health and Medical Research Council


Stewart R., Griffith Handbook of Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics (2nd edition)