boy licking peanut butter
1 / 6

Why You Need It

You probably get enough, but not getting as much as you should can be serious. Your body needs fat to absorb vitamin E, so people with certain digestive problems may not get what they need. This can damage your nerves, eyes, and immune system.

Swipe to advance
wheat germ oil
2 / 6

Get It From Food

The best source of vitamin E is something called wheat germ oil. If you’re all out of that, you can get it from sunflower seeds, almonds, safflower oil, and hazelnuts. Peanut butter and spinach are two other options.

Swipe to advance
holding skin lotion in store
3 / 6

Lotions and Potions

Oils and lotions with vitamin E can help with inflammation and boost your skin’s defenses -- protect it from the sun, for example. But stay away from anything called a “synthetic derivative,” because these don’t work as well. And taking it by mouth doesn’t do as much for you as putting it on your skin. If you do take the pill, it helps if you take it along with vitamin C.

Swipe to advance
scar on hand close up
4 / 6

Can It Fix My Scar?

It’s good for your skin, hair, and nails, so it’s been studied as a way to prevent scars. It makes sense that it would help with this, but there’s not enough evidence to prove it. And some doctors warn against it, because it can trigger an allergic reaction.

Swipe to advance
woman having her hair done
5 / 6

Can It Treat My Diseases?

You may have heard that it can treat or prevent any number of problems, from heart disease and cancer to Alzheimer’s. But studies say that’s not so. For now, count on it for good skin, hair, and nails. If it turns out that it helps anything else, that’ll be a bonus.

Swipe to advance
female doctor with male patient
6 / 6

Drug Interactions

If you’re taking any medication, talk to your doctor before you take a vitamin E supplement. This is especially important if you’re undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, or if you take a blood thinner.

Swipe to advance

Up Next

Next Slideshow Title

Sources | Medically Reviewed on 06/23/2016 Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on June 23, 2016

IMAGES PROVIDED BY:

1) KidStock / Getty Images

2) piotr_malczyk / Thinkstock

3) ShotShare / Getty Images

4) taviphoto / Thinkstock

5) Photolibrary

6) Jose Luis Pelaez / Getty Images

SOURCES:

Linus Pauling Institute: Micronutrient Information Center.

Mayo Clinic: “Drugs and Supplements.”

National Institutes of Health: “Nutrition and nutritional supplementation, Impact on skin health and beauty,” “The influence of selected ingredients of dietary supplements on skin condition,” “A Double-blind, Placebo-controlled Study Evaluating the Efficacy of an Oral Supplement in Women with Self-perceived Thinning Hair,” “Vitamin E Fact Sheet for Health Professionals.”

Reviewed by David Kiefer, MD on June 23, 2016

This tool does not provide medical advice. See additional information.

THIS TOOL DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE. It is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and should not be relied on to make decisions about your health. Never ignore professional medical advice in seeking treatment because of something you have read on the WebMD Site. If you think you may have a medical emergency, immediately call your doctor or dial 911.