Our body needs nutrients and vitamins to keep it healthy and functioning optimally. There are many vitamins that our body needs, be it in the form of oral supplements or through natural sources in our diet. These nutrients not only make our bodies healthy from within, but they also work to keep our hair and skin happy too. However, as the famous saying goes, excess of anything is bad, even if it is something as healthy as vitamins. Here, we will talk about the side effects of excess vitamin E or vitamin E toxicity in your body.
As essential and important as this vitamin is for our body, it’s overdose can lead to severe health issues and difficulties. So, to make you more aware about vitamin E toxicity, we got in touch with Dermatologist and Trichologist, Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi. She helped us map out everything you need to know about Vitamin E overdose and its side effects. Read on, after all, too much of a good thing can also be bad!
- How is Vitamin E good for you? What are its benefits?
- What is Vitamin E toxicity?
- What causes this?
- What are the side effects of Vitamin E overdose? What are the symptoms?
- How to prevent Vitamin E toxicity?
- What are possible treatments for this?
- FAQs about vitamin e
How is Vitamin E good for you? What are its benefits?
Before we get down to the bad, we must understand that there are many benefits of Vitamin E that make it one of the most famous supplements prescribed by doctors. Vitamin E isn’t just a single vitamin but a fat-soluble vitamin with antioxidant properties. This makes vitamin E a great moisturiser as it helps heal your dry and flaky skin. That is why it is famously found in many lotions, moisturisers, creams and gels that we use for skincare.
Not only for your skin, but this vitamin is also amazing for your hair too. Due to the presence of antioxidants in it, vitamin E is used to treat hair fall and stimulate hair growth. It helps reduce the oxidative stress and free radicals which cause the hair to break in the first place. This vitamin, overall, helps improve our body immunity as it fights various bacteria and viruses and also prevents your blood from clotting.
Dr. Mrunal Shah Modi confirms this and says, “Vitamin E is great for your skin. For starters, It helps reduce the ultraviolet damage to your skin and also protects it from damages caused by free radicals. It improves the skin's elasticity as well. Furthermore, vitamin E stimulates collagen production which helps make the skin become glowy and firm.”
What is Vitamin E toxicity?
While vitamin E is very beneficial for your health and can reduce the chances of life-endangering sickness like heart disease, certain cancers and even brain disorders, it needs to be pointed out that it’s overdose can be quite harmful to you and your body.
Dr. Modi elaborates and explains, “Vitamin E toxicity happens due to excess intake of vitamin supplementation which causes an overdose of vitamin E in the body. This excessive amount of vitamin E builds up in the body and can cause various health complications - we call this whole ordeal vitamin E toxicity.”
Basically, when you exceed your bodily requirement of this vitamin - which can be due to a high vitamin E enriched diet or excessive intake of its supplements - it causes a build-up in your body fat. This isn’t good for your body and can cause several medical issues.
What causes this?
Due to its great benefits for the skin, hair, nails and not to forget how it works to improve our immune system and lower the chances of cancer, vitamin E is always in great demand. And knowing all these benefits of vitamin E, people often excessively consume it on their own without a doctor’s supervision, which can cause toxicity.
This is usually due to taking unmonitored consumption of vitamin E supplements, which is actually not for everyone. Experts prescribe oral supplements to people with vitamin E deficiency - usually people with fat malabsorption disorder or those who follow a low-fat diet - to fulfill their need for this vitamin.
“Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin, it can get stored in the fat and can build up body fat if taken in excessive amounts through diet or supplements. The upper limit UL which a person can consume on a daily basis without complication is 1000mg. Basically, if a person is not deficient in vitamin E supplements are not required,” explains Dr. Modi.
What are the side effects of Vitamin E overdose? What are the symptoms?
The bigger question is how exactly does a person know if they have vitamin E toxicity? To know about this, we asked Dr. Modi about what are some of the symptoms and side effects that we might look out for and this is what she explains the following - - Some of the early symptoms to diagnose an overdose of vitamin E are physical indications like nausea, fatigue, headache, diarrhoea, abdominal cramps, easy bleeding and even bruising, muscle weakness, and blurred vision. - If anyone has a pre-existing bleeding disorder, they must avoid taking vitamin E.
It can cause severe blood thinning and may increase the risk of stroke and cause fatal bleeding. It can interfere with the normal blood clotting mechanism as well, after excessive bleeding or injury. - It can also interfere with various medicines like blood thinners, tamoxifen, which is a medicine used for breast cancer and cyclosporine.
How to prevent Vitamin E toxicity?
Now, coming to how one can prevent vitamin E overdose, Dr. Modi suggests the following ways -
- Toxicity is rare if you only consume vitamin E-rich foods. It’s actually the added supplements that cause an overdose. So, the best way to prevent toxicity is to take supplements under a doctor’s supervision and check for any risk for side-effect or drug interactions.
- One must make sure to keep the daily intake of vitamin E, both from supplements and food, below 1000mg per day to make sure there is no overdose of this vitamin.
What are possible treatments for this?
If you do end up with vitamin E toxicity, then the simplest and the most common way to treat this overdose is by discontinuing the supplements and reducing foods that are rich in vitamin E from your diet for some time. Furthermore, if there are any severe complications, then it is best to seek help from a professional as you may need proper medical care.
FAQs about vitamin e
Q. Should I take vitamin E everyday?
A. It is perfectly safe to take vitamin E everyday, as long as you take upto 15 milligrams a day or as advised by your doctor. This vitamin is exceptionally good for your immune system and can be taken in the form of oral supplements or naturally by introducing vitamin E-enriched foods in your diet.
Q. Can taking vitamin E raise blood pressure?
A. There is no conclusive medical proof that suggests vitamin E can raise your blood pressure as long as it is taken in right amounts.
Written by Tashika Tyagi on Dec 16, 2021
A writer who loves to read, travel, eat and explore new places and things. With a bachelor's degree in journalism, she has over two years of experience in writing about food, lifestyle, and travel. She also doubles up as a rom-com expert and home baker when she isn’t writing!