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Vitamin E
Recommended daily allowance: 30 IU (international units)

Symptoms of deficiency: Lack of vitality, irritability, disinterest in physical activity, decreased sexual performance, muscle weakness, neurological and reproductive problems.

Benefits: Retards aging. Heals burns and wounds. Improves muscle strength. Eases menstrual problems. Prevents and treats cancer. Sickle-cell anemia. Beneficial to damaged retinas.

Good food sources: Nuts and seeds, wheat germ, whole-wheat flour, vegetable oils, spinach.

Cautions: Don't take mega-doses if pregnant or breast feeding. Consult your doctor if you have: iron-deficiency anemia, bleeding or clotting problems, cystic fibrosis, liver disease, or an overactive thyroid. Very high doses (over 800 mg/day) may deplete vitamin-A reserves in the body.

Substance interactions: Decreases absorption of vitamin E: tobacco, antacids, cholestyramine, colestipol, mineral oil, sucralfate, iron supplements. May increase spontaneous or hidden bleeding when taken with: anticoagulants, coumarin or indandione-type.

Signs of toxicity: Very low toxicity.

* A very powerful antioxidant. Protects the body from free radicals.

* A natural anticoagulant. It offers some protection against heart attacks and thrombotic strokes.

* Useful in the treatment of fibrocystic breast disease, PMS, and painful or excessive menstruation. It may be applied topically on scars following surgery, burns, and other skin injuries (do not apply it until wounds have closed).

* It should be taken if exercising regularly. Exercising stimulates the body to create free-radicals. Taking 400 IU per day will help counteract the damage.

* Studies indicate that it fights heart disease, prevents cancer, alleviates respiratory problems and boosts your immune system's ability to fight off infectious diseases. It may also prevent some of the damage that diabetes does to the body, particularly to the eyes.

* For disease prevention, studies show that getting between 200 and 600 IU is necessary for maximum benefit.

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