Vitamin E

Updated 21 November 2012

Vitamin E

Vitmin E (alpha-tocopherol acetate) is a very popular vitamin, as many people believe it is the vitamin that will slow down the aging process and keep their skin looking fresh and young. Vitamin E was first discovered in the 1920s, but only now as a result of numerous studies are we appreciating the important work that it does in the body. It does seem that vitamin E offers a multitude of benefits.

The benefits of vitamin E
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that is carried around the body by the blood and is stored in the fatty tissues and the liver. It is one of the natural antioxidants that help protects cells from free radicals (substances that damage and kill off healthy cells). This has lead some doctors to believe that vitamin E can help slow down the aging process.

Heart disease
Vitamin E is essential for healthy heart function and circulation by protecting our cells and helping prevent the build up of plaque in the arteries. It also thins the blood to help prevent heart disease. Recent studies have shown that vitamin E supplementation significantly lowers the risk of heart disease. Some doctors believe that it can protect the heart from strokes and heart attacks by reducing the harmful bad cholesterol in our arteries. Vitamin E has also been shown to increase the body’s immune response and therefore protect against disease and cancer.
Skin: Helps with condition, regeneration and youthful appearance. Helps heal skin and it can prevent thick scar formation and accelerate the healing of burns.
Blood pressure: Vitamin E has been shown in some studies to help reduce blood pressure.
Cell Respiration: Maximizes the availability of oxygen to organs and muscles. Some athletes take this supplement for this reason.
Reproduction: Essential for a healthy reproductive system.
Eye health: Cataracts appear to be formed by the oxidation of proteins in the lens of the eye, which may be prevented by antioxidants such as alpha-tocopherol. To date, observational studies have examined the association between vitamin E consumption and the incidence and severity of cataracts.

Vitamin E supplements
Most of us will get all the vitamin E we need in our daily diet but if you feel you need extra always discuss your individual requirements with your doctor. Choose natural vitamin E sometimes labeled (d-alpha) over synthetic ones labeled (dl-alpha).

If you decide to take a vitamin E supplement take it at the same time each day with a meal. The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) is 10mg. A typical therapeutic daily dose is 67mg to 670mg but doses of 200mg to 400mg are most common. Daily intake should not exceed 800mg. Multivitamins usually contain about 40 mg of vitamin E and even at this fairly low dosage it has been shown to indicate some protection against cancer in smokers.

Signs of deficiency
There are no real deficiency signs but the life of red blood cells may be shortened. People who eat a balanced diet are not at risk of deficiency.

High doses (above 670mg daily) can be toxic and cause blood thinning, so should not be used by people taking anti-clotting medication such as Warfarin or heparin. People with high blood pressure should start on a low dose and increase gradually under professional supervision. Diabetics should have their dosage monitored carefully as vitamin E can affect insulin requirements.

sources of vitamin E:
Wheat-germ oil is an exceptional source, eggs, almond oil, corn oil, cottonseed oil, olive oil, palm oil, peanut oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, whole grains, whole-wheat flour and grains, nuts and seeds especially almonds and hazelnuts, sunflower oil, soya beans, avocados, pulses and beans, margarines and leafy green vegetables.

Ask Alva
What is meant by the term RDA?
— Jono
RDA is the Recommended Daily Allowance that a government determines are the bare minimum amount of vitamins and minerals needed to prevent serious deficiency. It should not be confused with maximum safe daily dose (MSDD).
— Alva

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UAE’s ‘New National Dish’ exhibition offers a taste of the future

The exhibition is on show in Dubai on Jan. 24 and 25. (Supplied)
Updated 22 January 2020

UAE’s ‘New National Dish’ exhibition offers a taste of the future

  • The show presents four imagined proposals for a new Emirati national dish, based on the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change

DUBAI: Future food scenarios are imagined in “New National Dish: UAE,” an exhibition at AlSerkal Avenue in Dubai open January 24 and 25.

The show presents four imagined proposals for a new Emirati national dish, based on the environmental, economic and social impacts of climate change.

Zac Denfeld, director of the Center for Genomic Gastronomy — the artist-led think tank behind the show, which has previously examined the biotechnologies and biodiversity of human food systems in Ireland — spoke to Arab News about the exhibition, which follows similar shows in Poland and Norway.

“We do some research and look at the way food might change, and then propose a new national dish,” Denfeld, who is currently based in Norway, said. “The UAE has a strong desire for food security and there are many scientific projects happening here, (including) indoor growing, vertical growing using somewhat salty water.”

Visitors to the exhibition will get to try the food and discuss the future of popular dishes. (Supplied)

For the Dubai show, produced by AlSerkal, Denfeld and his colleagues concentrated on identifying Emirati food for which most of the ingredients are grown in the country.

“We are also considering the changing preferences for the eaters; what they are going to want in the future,” Denfeld explained. For example, the team imagined and created a new kind of sushi, replacing the fish meat with watermelon prepared with a seaweed machine to make the fruit taste and feel like fish.

“That’s also combined over rice, like sushi, because the UAE is now working with China to develop a rice that can grow in the salty conditions,” Denfeld said. “So, this is a way of combining a future where rice is actually grown (in the Emirates) — which has never been done — and an alternative approach to fish, where we might eat a little bit less fish or only have the (selected) parts.”

Visitors to the exhibition will get to try the food and discuss the future of popular dishes. “That’s really interesting for us,” said Denfield. “Because we are not really saying, ‘Okay, this is the future. This is what you should do.’ We are giving four very different perspectives, and people can choose what their favorite is.”