How much vitamin E do I need to slow aging?

Dr. Michael Roizen, MD
Internal Medicine
Vitamin E is found in fatty vegetables such as avocados, and in some vegetable oils. It is also found in nuts, leafy green vegetables, and some grains. It is virtually impossible to get the necessary antiaging dose of vitamin E from food alone. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) is only 12 to 15 international units (IU) a day. This is the amount you need to survive without showing signs of deficiency disease. However, the RealAge Optimum (RAO) -- the dose you need to stay young -- is 400 IU. Because most multivitamins follow RDA recommendations and contain only 15 to 30 IU, do not rely on multivitamins for the optimum amount of vitamin E: The level of vitamin E in most multivitamins is often 370 IU short of the optimum for antiaging.

How often do you need to take vitamin E? Since it's fat-soluble, it stays in your body for quite a while. One tablet a day is just the right dose. There is little risk of a vitamin E overdose unless you ingest more than 1,200 IU a day, and vitamin E is probably safe up to 3,000 IU a day. If you have high blood pressure, some physicians believe you should get the high blood pressure treated before you start slowly vitamin E. Then those physicians advocate you start slowly with 200 IU of vitamin E a day. After a week or so, increase the dose to 400 IU.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.