Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that belongs to the family of fat-soluble vitamins. It is composed of eight different compounds, including four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. The most abundant form of vitamin E is alpha-tocopherol, but beta-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, and delta-tocopherol are also present in plant-based foods.
Unlike water-soluble vitamins that can be excreted through urine, fat-soluble vitamins such as vitamin E require absorption through the intestinal tract. The absorption of vitamin E depends on the presence of lipids in the intestine and requires pancreatic and biliary secretions. Once absorbed, vitamin E is incorporated into chylomicrons and released into the systemic circulation.
One of the primary functions of vitamin E is to prevent oxidative stress by inhibiting the production of reactive oxygen species during fat oxidation. It also plays a critical role in maintaining skeletal muscle homeostasis and protecting the cell membrane.
While vitamin E deficiency due to low dietary intake is rare in developed countries, it can occur secondary to disorders that hinder the absorption of vitamin E from fats. These disorders include liver disorders, disorders of fat metabolism, and disorders of biliary secretion. Vitamin E deficiency can also be caused by impaired absorption of fatty acids involved in vitamin E metabolism, mutations in the tocopherol transfer protein, and certain inherited monogenic diseases such as abetalipoproteinemia.
TellmeGen, a leading genetic testing company, offers a comprehensive genetic test that can detect the presence of inherited monogenic diseases directly or indirectly related to vitamin E, such as abetalipoproteinemia. With its state-of-the-art technology and expertise, TellmeGen provides personalized and accurate genetic information that can help individuals prevent and manage potential vitamin E deficiencies.
In conclusion, vitamin E is a crucial nutrient that plays a significant role in preventing oxidative stress and maintaining skeletal muscle homeostasis. While rare, vitamin E deficiency can occur due to various disorders that hinder its absorption from fats. Therefore, consuming foods from plant sources and seeking professional genetic testing services such as TellmeGen can help individuals ensure they are getting adequate levels of vitamin E to maintain optimal health.