The Electrain Series: Vitamin E

Carla "Kira" M. Parsons
November 27, 2022
 min read

 Vitamin E has many benefits for the skin and for the body. Vitamin E is used to curtail scarring or even repair scar tissue (the evidence, although promising, is not conclusive). Vitamin E also has many anti-inflammatory and anti-tumoral benefits along with slowing down the progression of neurodegenerative diseases like  Alzhiemer’s. 

Read more to find out about how vitamin E improves the skin and 

Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) was discovered in 1922 by Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop. It was first isolated in a pure form by Evans and Gladys Anderson Emerson in 1935 at the University of California, Berkeley.[1]

Vitamin E, or tocopherol, protects from oxidative stress. Thymoquinone(TQ) is formed from excessive oxidative degradation of tocopherol which can impact complex I, II and III activity. [2] TQ is extracted from the plant N. sativa and exhibits hepatoprotective, antioxidant, cytotoxic, anti-inflammatory, and anti-tumoral properties. [2]

Vitamin E is very effective in preventing cancerous cells. Some experiments have shown that vitamin E can increase the activity of complex IV in rats, but this has not been shown in humans. [3]

Vitamin E is used for repairing scar tissue because it is a lipid soluble antioxidant that penetrates the skin. [3]Its antioxidative properties help stabilize cell membranes and curb inflammation which reduces the amounts of chemicals released by those cells.  [3] However, some experiments have shown that applying vitamin E topically does not have an impact on the scar and the scar tissue would heal at the same rate. Additionally, excessive vitamin E can cause contact dermatitis.[4]

High doses have been shown to slow the progression of Alzhiemer’s disease, improve liver disease, and prevent preeclampsia during pregnancy. [5] This must be done under a physician’s supervision, as high doses can also have adverse effects, including possible increase in all-cause mortality. 

A vitamin E deficiency could cause nerve and muscle damage, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision issues. [5] There would also be a larger accumulation of free radicals in the mitochondria. The recommended doses are 15 mg/day for men and 15 mg/day for women. Doses higher than 1000mg per day will become harmful. [6]Vitamin E toxicity is not likely, some of the risks are bleeding, muscle weakness, fatigue, nausea, and diarrhea. Excess vitamin E can interfere with blood clotting. [6]

References and Suggested Reading


Ivancovsky-Wajcman, Dana, et al. "Dietary vitamin E and C intake is inversely associated with the severity of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease." Digestive and Liver Disease 51.12 (2019): 1698-1705.


Hannan MA, Rahman MA, Sohag AAM, Uddin MJ, Dash R, Sikder MH, Rahman MS, Timalsina B, Munni YA, Sarker PP, Alam M, Mohibbullah M, Haque MN, Jahan I, Hossain MT, Afrin T, Rahman MM, Tahjib-Ul-Arif M, Mitra S, Oktaviani DF, Khan MK, Choi HJ, Moon IS, Kim B. Black Cumin (Nigella sativa L.): A Comprehensive Review on Phytochemistry, Health Benefits, Molecular Pharmacology, and Safety. Nutrients. 2021 May 24;13(6):1784. doi: 10.3390/nu13061784. PMID: 34073784; PMCID: PMC8225153.


Khoosal, Dipen, and Ran D. Goldman. "Vitamin E for treating children’s scars: Does it help reduce scarring?." Canadian family physician 52.7 (2006): 855.

McGuire, Michelle, and Kathy A. Beerman. Nutritional sciences: from fundamentals to food. Cengage Learning, 2022.

Miller III, Edgar R., et al. "Meta-analysis: high-dosage vitamin E supplementation may increase all-cause mortality." Annals of internal medicine 142.1 (2005): 37-46.

Rizvi, Saliha, et al. "The role of vitamin E in human health and some diseases." Sultan Qaboos University Medical Journal 14.2 (2014): e157.

Schirinzi, Tommaso, et al. "Dietary Vitamin E as a protective factor for Parkinson's disease: clinical and experimental evidence." Frontiers in Neurology 10 (2019): 148.

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