Vitamin E is at the top of the list when it comes to antioxidants because of its ability to fend off free radicals and protect against oxidative stress that causes the break down of our cells or cellular senescence. Free radicals are things that we are exposed to daily such as pollution, UV rays, radiation, smoking, and even a poor diet. Oxidative stress is caused by an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants and while oxidative stress is a normal process, a severe enough imbalance can cause serious health issues. So how does vitamin E play a factor in this process?
What is Cellular Senescence?
Cellular senescence is when the cells in our body stop dividing. In the 1960s, two scientists, Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead, conducted experiments on human cells and found that they have a certain life cycle, but after a certain number of divisions After that, it will never be born again, nor will it be divided. Hayflick and Moorhead were the first to link cellular senescence to the human aging process. In addition, cellular senescence has been implicated in biological processes such as tissue repair, development, aging, and age-related diseases.
Premature cellular senescence caused by free radicals increases the aging process in our bodies which can result in a weakened immune system, diseases, infections, and early aging. The process of cellular senescence can be initiated, triggered, or sped up through a variety of stress-related factors that can occur from internal or environmentally damaging factors such as oxidative stress.
What is Vitamin E?
Vitamin E is a group of fat-soluble vitamins that protect our immune system by fighting free radicals, and has been extensively studied for how it benefits our health, heals, slows the aging process, and helps prevent certain diseases. Ensuring adequate vitamin E intake is a great way to achieve and maintain good health and prevent premature cellular aging. Check with your doctor before taking any vitamin E supplements.
Good Food Sources of Vitamin E:
- Dark green leafy vegetables
- Wheat Germ Oil
- Sunflower Seeds
- Olive oil
- Wheat and wheat germ
- Brown rice
- Sweet potatoes
Vitamin E and Cellular Senescence
There have been a variety of studies on vitamin E that demonstrate vitamin E’s potential in reducing cellular senescence.
- Low vitamin E intake may accelerate cellular aging in patients with cardiovascular problems, according to a study.
- Further, in another study that tested two different types of human cells, vitamin E supplementation was shown to also help delay cellular senescence in a laboratory setting.
- Vitamin E was also shown to help reduce age-related declines in the immune system in rats.
- In other tests involving topical vitamin E for wounds on rats, the rats that had the topical vitamin E applied showed an increase in wound closure as well as a decrease in scarring.
- When vitamin E is used in or with sunscreen, it is more effective in blocking out UV rays, which help prevent cellular senescence in our skin.
Vitamin E appears to be a key nutrient and an essential antioxidant when it comes to cellular aging and trying to stay as healthy as possible. As research continues on vitamin E and its effects on cellular aging, science may one day find a way to work with vitamin E to slow the cellular aging process. Such findings could mean that people live longer, or gain more energy, or look younger, as well as reduce the effects of cardiovascular problems.
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