What Does Vitamin E Do For Your Body?

Nov 28, 2022 Vitamin E 5 MIN

What Does Vitamin E Do For Your Body?

Quick Health Scoop

  • Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin and an essential nutrient your body needs to maintain good health.
  • How does Vitamin E benefit your health? It provides powerful antioxidant properties, neutralizes free radicals in the body, and supports a healthy immune system.
  • Health experts advise a recommended daily allowance of 15 mg of Vitamin E for most healthy adults, which you can get through food or Vitamin E supplements.
  • Good food sources of Vitamin E include many plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, as well as plant-based oils and butters.

You may not know much about Vitamin E, but this key nutrient plays a vital role in your health and well-being—especially your immune system. In fact, the body needs 13 essential vitamins to function properly including fat-soluble vitamins (Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin K) as well as water-soluble vitamins (the entire B Vitamin family and Vitamin C). [1] They’re all considered essential because your body either can’t naturally produce them or is unable to produce them in adequate quantities to maintain good health therefore they must be obtained through diet or supplementation.

But exactly what does Vitamin E do for your body? Read on to learn more about the health benefits of this key vitamin and the various health benefits it provides.

Benefits Of Taking Vitamin E

In order for your body to function properly, your body requires adequate Vitamin E levels. But what does Vitamin E do for your body? Vital for the healthy functioning of many cells  (including heart muscle cells), Vitamin E actually exists in several different forms. However, the body mainly uses a form called alpha-tocopherol. A diet high in Vitamin E has shown to be associated with key health benefits, including the following: [2,3,4]

Antioxidant Properties

As an antioxidant, Vitamin E helps neutralize free radicals from oxidative stress in the body. [2]  In fact, research shows that taking a high dose of Vitamin E supplementation (800 IU/d)  may provide antioxidant support.[5]†

Supports a Healthy Immune System

Vitamin E provides support to the body's natural immune defenses, [3] In fact, Vitamin E also supports a healthy immune system as the body ages. This is especially important for older adults (ages 65+), who often face increased health issues as they age. Why? Because the immune function naturally declines as you get older.[3]

Recommended Daily Intake

Your body needs Vitamin E every day to support your health and wellbeing. Dosages vary depending on age, but the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of Vitamin E is 15 mg/day for most adults.[2]

As always, it’s best to obtain vitamins and minerals by eating a wide variety of nutritious foods as part of a healthy lifestyle. In addition to boosting your Vitamin E intake through your diet, you can also get extra Vitamin E with a dietary supplement, whether that’s through multivitamins or Vitamin E supplements, such as an oral Vitamin E supplement in capsules or drops. Since Vitamin E is fat-soluble, the body will absorb a Vitamin E supplement better with food containing some healthy fat (think avocado, fish, peanuts, or olive oil).

The best food sources with Vitamin E include nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, as well as plant-based oils and butters. The following foods are rich with Vitamin E: [6,7]


Vegetable Oil And Other Plant-Based Oils


½ Cup

1 Tablespoon

Wheat Germ Oil

163 mg (1087% DV) 

20.3 mg (135% DV)

Sunflower Oil (high oleic)

44.8 mg (299% DV) 

5.7 mg (38% DV)

Safflower Oil (linoleic)

37.2 mg (248% DV) 

4.6 mg (31% DV) 

Olive Oil

15.6 mg (104% DV) 

2.1 mg (14% DV) 


Nut Butters


½ Cup

1 Tablespoon

Peanut Butter (smooth, fortified foods)

55.5 mg (370% DV) 

6.9 mg (15% DV)

Almond Butter (unsalted)

30.3 mg (201.5% DV)

3.8 mg (25% DV)  


Nuts and Seeds


½ Cup

1 Tablespoon

Sunflower Seeds (dried, kernels)

24.6 mg (164% DV)

9.8 mg (66% DV)


18.3 mg (122% DV)

7.3 mg (49% DV)


    Thanks to Vitamin E naturally occurring in a wide variety of foods, it’s rare for Americans to have a Vitamin E deficiency. However, approximately 84% of the U.S. population has inadequate daily intake of Vitamin E in their diet.[8]

    How Can Vitamin E Support Your Health?

    To enhance the benefits of Vitamin E, consider making some healthy lifestyle changes, such as incorporating more Vitamin E-containing foods into your diet. Since many nuts and seeds are rich in Vitamin E, you can easily add these to salads, sprinkle them on yogurt, or spread nut or seed butter on whole grain bread or crackers. You can also vary the vegetable oils you use to cook or make your own salad dressing with a Vitamin E oil such as safflower or grapeseed oil.

    If you’re concerned you’re not getting enough Vitamin E in your diet, talk with a health professional who may recommend a dietary supplement, whether a multivitamin or a Vitamin E supplement.

    Bottom Line

    Your body needs Vitamin E (a fat soluble vitamin) to maintain good health. What does Vitamin E do for your body? This key nutrient delivers powerful antioxidant properties,   helps neutralize free radicals from oxidative stress, and supports a healthy immune system. Health experts advise a recommended dietary allowance of 15 mg of Vitamin E for most healthy adults, which you can get through food or a Vitamin E supplement such as Vitamin E capsules and softgels. Good food sources of Vitamin E include many plant-based foods such as nuts, seeds, fruits, and vegetables, as well as vegetable oils. You can also boost your Vitamin E intake through dietary supplements.

    Continue to check back on the Nature Made blog for the latest science-backed articles to help you take ownership of your health.

    † These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.


    1. National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. “Vitamins and Mineral” February 2018. September 21, 2022. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/vitamins-and-minerals
    1. National Institutes of Health. “Fact Sheet for Professionals: Vitamin E.” March 26, 2021. Accessed on: September 23, 2022. https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminE-HealthProfessional/
    1. Oregon State University’s Linus Pauling Institute. “Vitamin E.” October 2015. Accessed on: September 21, 2022. https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/vitamins/vitamin-E#food-sources
    1. Mount Sinai. “Vitamin E.” 2022. Accessed on: September 22, 2022. https://www.mountsinai.org/health-library/nutrition/vitamin-e
    1. Randomized Control Trial. “Effects of High-dose Vitamin E Supplementation on Markers of Cardiometabolic Risk and Oxidative Stress in Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy: a Randomized Double-blinded Controlled Trial.” May 2018. Accessed on: September 23, 2022. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29891745/
    1. Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “Vitamin E.” 2022. Accessed on: September 21, 2022. https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/vitamin-e/
    1. S. Department of Agriculture. “Food Data Central.” 2022. Accessed on: September 22, 2022. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov
    1. Reider CA, Chung RY, Devarshi PP, Grant RW, Hazels Mitmesser S. Inadequacy of Immune Health Nutrients: Intakes in US Adults, the 2005-2016 NHANES. Nutrients. 2020;12(6):1735. Published 2020 Jun 10. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7352522/


    Lisa Beach

    NatureMade Contributor

    Lisa Beach is a seasoned journalist whose work has been published in The New York Times, Good Housekeeping, Eating Well, Parents, AARP’s Disrupt Aging, Optimum Wellness, and dozens more. She also writes for a variety of health/wellness-focused brands. Check out her writer’s website at www.LisaBeachWrites.com.

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    Lynn M. Laboranti, RD

    Science and Health Educator

    Lynn is a Registered Dietitian (R.D.) and is a member of the Medical and Scientific Communications team at Pharmavite. She has over 20 years of experience in integrative and functional nutrition and has given lectures to health professionals and consumers on nutrition, dietary supplements and related health issues. Lynn frequently conducts employee trainings on various nutrition topics in addition to educating retail partners on vitamins, minerals and supplements. Lynn has previous clinical dietitian expertise in both acute and long-term care, as well as nutrition counseling for weight management, diabetes, and sports nutrition. Lynn earned a bachelor’s of science in Nutrition with a minor in Kinesiology/Exercise Science from The Pennsylvania State University. She earned a M.S. degree in Human Nutrition from Marywood University in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Lynn is an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Sports Cardiovascular and Wellness Nutritionists, Dietitians in Functional Medicine, and holds a certification in Integrative and Functional Nutrition through the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.

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