by Cynthia M. Johnson, MA
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin. This means it is stored in the liver and fatty tissues. There are 8 forms. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form in humans. It is an antioxidant. This means it acts to protect the body's cells against the effects of free radicals. These are normal by-products of metabolism, but they can cause cell damage.
The role of vitamin E is to:
Vitamin E Deficiency
This health problem is rare. In developed countries, it is seen only in people with certain health problems, such as liver disease or cystic fibrosis.
People who do not get enough vitamin E often do not get enough vitamins A, D, and K.
Vitamin E Toxicity
Vitamin E does not leave the body in the urine like most water-soluble vitamins. It can build up in the body. The tolerable upper intake level (UL) for adults from dietary sources and supplements is 1,100 milligrams (mg) daily. The UL is lower for children.
Major Food Sources
People at Risk for Vitamin E Deficiency
People who may need a supplement because they lack vitamin E are:
Tips to Get More
To get more vitamin E:
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
United States Department of Agriculture
Dietitians of Canada
Dietary supplement fact sheet: vitamin E. Office of Dietary Supplements: National Institutes of Health website. Available at:
...(Click grey area to select URL)
Accessed August 27, 2020.
Vitamin E. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/drug-monograph/vitamin-e. Accessed August 27, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN
Last Updated: 3/2/2021
EBSCO Information Services is fully accredited by URAC. URAC is an independent, nonprofit health care accrediting organization dedicated to promoting health care quality through accreditation, certification and commendation.
This content is reviewed regularly and is updated when new and relevant evidence is made available. This information is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with questions regarding a medical condition.
To send comments or feedback to our Editorial Team regarding the content please email us at email@example.com. Our Health Library Support team will respond to your email request within 2 business days.