Vitamin E is a term that refers to a set of fat soluble compounds that are found in a variety of foods, including whole grain products, nuts and peanut butter. Intake of vitamin E in sufficient amounts, improves blood circulation and promotes normal blood clotting. Vitamin E being a potent antioxidant, protects the body from age related disorders. In other words, it can slow down the process of aging.
Vitamin E Side Effects
Although vitamin E is vital for our body, it does not mean one can consume it in large doses through supplements. The supplemental form is often prescribed to treat vitamin E deficiency, but taking it more than required can be detrimental to health. Some of the common side effects associated with supplemental form of vitamin E, especially due to overdose are given below:
- Blurred vision
In case, intake of vitamin E causes the following side effects, then it means that the person is allergic to vitamin E supplements and should immediately discontinue the medicine
- Trouble while breathing
- Swollen face or lips
- Formation of hives or eczema on the skin
Vitamin E Side Effects on Skin
Topical usage of vitamin E can lead to the development of skin rashes. This is a minor skin problem that does not spread and remains localized to the affected area. Although vitamin E, can help to reduce wrinkling of skin, there have been reports of skin irritation by using skin care products that contain vitamin E in high amounts. People have also complained about unusual burning sensation after applying vitamin E skin products.
It is said that vitamin E oil can play a crucial role to improve skin conditions like sunburn. However, studies are yet to prove these beneficial actions of vitamin E on the skin. So, using vitamin E skin care products, without consulting a doctor is not recommended. If application of vitamin E products causes severe itching or swelling, then usage of these products has to be stopped immediately. In some cases, taking vitamin E supplements orally has caused intense itchy sensation on the superficial skin. This unpleasant itchy feeling that forces the person to scratch is a characteristic feature of pruritus.
Long Term Use - Vitamin E Side Effects
Fatigue and weakness are some of the common side effects associated with long-term use of vitamin E. Other health issues that may occur as a result of vitamin E overdose or prolong use are given below:
Taking vitamin E capsules daily for a considerable period of time is not advised, as it can lead to vitamin E toxicity, which ultimately manifests in the form of heart problems such as congestive heart disease.
Compromised Immune System
Studies show that intake of these nutrients for a long time can decrease the body's ability to fight infections. In other words, the person may suffer from a depressed immune system, thus making him vulnerable to infections.
Women who have taken this nutrient in pill or capsule form for a long time have experienced intermediate bouts of depression and anxiety. These emotional disturbances are often the result of vitamin E toxicity.
Over dosage of vitamin E supplements can lead to diarrhea. So, one should be very careful when it comes to taking vitamin E. Many say that those suffering from vitamin E deficiency should take vitamin E supplements in large doses. This is absolutely wrong and will only predispose a person to side effects like diarrhea. Excretion of black, tarry stools is an indication of gastrointestinal bleeding.
During pregnancy, vitamin E dosage should not exceed beyond 18 mg. Anything more than this, is considered overdose, which can be detrimental to the baby's health. So, although adequate vitamin E is crucial at the time of pregnancy, excess dose increases the likelihood of birth defects. Remember, anything a mother pushes down the throat also goes to the baby.
Studies have revealed that taking more than normal amounts of vitamin E can damage any organ of the baby developing in the womb. The baby after birth may suffer from heart problems. A faulty heart in small children is one of the consequences of having too much vitamin E during pregnancy. Daily dosage that exceeds 400 IU is said to be life-threatening as suggested through various studies. Even adults taking a 400 IU of vitamin E supplement everyday for a period of 1 year are prone to heart failure.
A brain hemorrhage is a condition in which the blood vessels in the brain rupture, causing blood leakage in the nearby tissues. This is an alarming situation that requiring urgent medical treatment. This internal bleeding in the brain can be due to prolonged use of vitamin E supplements. Hemorrhagic stroke can cause speech impairment as well as numbness in the leg or arm.
Too much vitamin E can also put a person in the risk zone of internal bleeding. Internal bleeding many manifest in the form of unusual bruising. Black bowel movement is also an indication of bleeding occurring somewhere in the intestine. Usually, the chances of bleeding are found to be more in people put on intravenous administration of vitamin E. The risk increases dramatically when high doses of vitamin E are taken along with warfarin (anticoagulants). Even patients suffering from vitamin K deficiency and taking vitamin E supplements are at increased risk of bleeding.
People with kidney diseases have to be careful when it comes to taking vitamin E supplements. There have been instances of kidney damage resulting from vitamin E supplementation.
Including foods high in vitamin E in your diet, is that all you need to do, to reap its health benefits and the need to take vitamin E supplements will not arise, thus keeping you away from its side effects.