New research has linked vitamin E to two protective benefits; reduced muscular injury and reduced cancer risk!
Vitamin E is a powerful fat-soluble antioxidant. It plays a vital part in protecting our cells from stress and damage caused by free radicals (reactive particles produced by pollution, smoking, alcohol and even our own metabolism). Due to being fat-soluble, vitamin E helps protect cell membranes specifically (which are made up of phospholipids).
Vitamin E and muscular injury
A recent study (published in Nutrition) concludes that vitamin E supplements could prove useful in treating degenerative muscle conditions due to its antioxidant properties and its contribution to cell membrane repair.
The study involved a treatment group (receiving vitamin E) and a placebo control group. Subjects in the treatment group demonstrated lower levels of creatine kinase in the body, vs the control group (creatine kinase being an enzyme which may indicate the degeneration of muscle fibers).
Other benefits linked to vitamin E in this study include a reduction in oxidative stress and inflammatory biomarkers, important as excessive inflammation is also associated with muscle breakdown.
Study found here.
Vitamin E and cancer risk
Meta-analyses (when a range of studies are collated and analyzed) are perhaps the strongest study type when forming a scientific opinion. A Chinese meta-analysis (published in Medicine) has found a link between vitamin E deficiency and an increased risk of colorectal cancer.
The review (detailing studies on almost 6000 subjects) found that colorectal cancer patients were more likely to demonstrate lower serum vitamin E levels than healthy controls. The study also found that those most likely to manifest vitamin E deficiency are Europeans!
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and low levels may lead to the accumulation of oxidative stress and damage in cells- proposed as a risk factor for cancer development.
Study found here.