Vitamin E Deficiency; Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Who is at risk and what are the causes of Vitamin E deficiency?

– Low vitamin E intake

Low Vitamin E intake may cause deficiency. People that undergo low-fat diet may result with vitamin E deficiency because fat improves the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins including vitamin E.

– Pregnancy

Pregnancy and breastfeeding women are at risk because the nutritional demand of the infant increases vitamin E requirements and may cause vitamin E deficiency when this is not prevented with supplements or by increasing vitamin E intake in food.

– Malabsorption and digestive system diseases

Patient with an intestinal disease that decreases vitamin E absorption such as celiac, cystic fibrosis and Crohn’s diseases should consider vitamin E supplements and these conditions must be treated to avoid its deficiency.

– Alcoholics

In chronic alcohol consumption, there is an increase in vitamin E execration in the urine. The downside of regular alcohol intake is causing damage in the digestive system epithelium, leading to malabsorption of many nutrients, including vitamin E.

– Fast food

Westernized diet based on fast and junk food is lacking vitamin E if not combined with a daily intake of fruit and vegetables. Researches show that only 21% of teenagers meet their daily vitamin E requirements.

– Medications

Medications that treat high blood cholesterol usually stimulate fat excretion in the stool causing fatty diarrhoea. Excessive fat loss leads to malabsorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin E.

– Gall bladder diseases

Diseases that decrease bile secretion may lead to a deficit in vitamin E absorption because bile binds to vitamin E helps with fat absorption and without fat, vitamin E will not absorb as it is a fat-soluble vitamin.