Recent research has shed more light on the relationship between vitamin E and muscle cells. Vitamin E protects the plasma membrane of cells, which serves as a barrier and keeps the cellular contents within a cell. A well-established function of vitamin E is that it contributes to healthy plasma membranes, and, in muscles, it serves as a protective agent from wasting and degeneration. New research shows promise in fully understanding the function of vitamin E and muscle health: after inducing muscle stress on rodents, those with a vitamin E deficiency had a smaller and more inflamed quadriceps muscle whereas rats fed vitamin E rich chow had restored muscle cells to essentially the same condition prior to muscle stress. Researchers suspect that vitamin E enters the plasma membrane of cells and protect it from damaging free radicals. Free radicals are waste products that exist from normal body functions, such as consuming oxygen.
As always, the best way to get vitamins and minerals is through food rather than supplementation. The following are good sources of vitamin E according to the National Institutes of Health: vegetable oils; nuts; sunflower seeds; leafy green vegetables; fortified breakfast cereals; fruit juices; and margarine
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