From numbness to blurry eyes – the 5 signs you’re missing a key vitamin
WE all need a variety of vitamins and nutrients in order to stay healthy.
But if your balance of certain key vitamins is a little bit off, then you could experience symptoms such as blurry eyes and numbness.
Vitamin E is a key nutrient as it helps protect our cells from damage, boosts your immune system and also prevents blood clotting.
It's especially important as it helps the body's natural defence against illness and infection, as well as maintaining healthy skill and eyes.
Women need around 4mg of vitamin E in their diet everyday, whereas men should consume 3mg.
The NHS says that you should be able to get all of the vitamin E you need from your diet and that any vitamin E that isn't used immediately is stored in your body – meaning you don't need to consume it every day.
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Most people are well nourished and don't suffer with vitamin E deficiency.
It's a condition that is usually confined to people who struggle to digest or absorb nutrients from their food.
People who have a deficiency may have small intestine disease, cystic fibrosis, short bowel syndrome or if they suffer from alcoholism.
If you do have a deficiency, there are key signs and symptoms you might experience.
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If you don't consume enough vitamin E then your muscles might go through oxidative stress, Dr Kristen Elizabeth Holtz said.
Speaking to Insider she explained that this is when there is an imbalance of antioxidants in yours body, with the stress resulting in muscle weakness.
Dr Holtz said that sometimes, a lack of vitamin E can cause peripheral neuropathy.
This results in numbness in the hands and feet.
She said: "This happens because it damages nerve fibres, which can prevent them from transmitting signals correctly."
3. Issues with coordination
Another side effect of vitamin E deficiency is coordination issues, Dr Holtz said.
This is because it can lead to certain neurons breaking down in the brain which are crucial for movement control.
4. Impaired vision
If you aren't getting enough vitamin E, Dr Holtz said your light receptors in your retina can become damaged – leading to blurred vision over time.
5. Weakened immune system
When the immune system isn't functioning properly, it gets harder for your body to fight off infection and illness.
Dr Holtz said that vitamin E is key in helping the body's immune system by supporting the growth of T-cells which help fight infections.
If you're worried your not getting enough vitamin E, then there are plenty of foods you can add to your diet that will help with this.
The NHS says that foods such as plant oils, including rapeseed oil, sunflower, soya, corn and olive oil, are all great sources of vitamin E.
Nuts and seeds will also help up your daily intake of the vitamin, as will wheatgerm, which is found in cereals and cereal products.
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