Vitamin E… combating fatty liver disease

Today, there are approximately 1.5 billion people worldwide who are overweight or obese, and more than 344 million people suffering from type 2 diabetes. While not everyone with type 2 diabetes is overweight, obesity and lack of physical activity are two of the most common causes of this form of diabetes. Closely associated with type 2 diabetes and obesity is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). While most are familiar with alcoholic fatty liver disease; primarily caused by the heavy consumption of alcohol, non-alcoholic fatty liver is the accumulation of extra fat in the liver not caused by alcohol and, if more than 5-10% of the liver’s weight is fat, it is categorized as a fatty liver.

While it is widely accepted that the simplest way of combating ill health is by receiving essential nutrition through a healthy and varied diet, a large proportion of the population in the Western world is still not adequately nourished. One of the micronutrients that has often been overlooked is vitamin E, which is vital for health. An intake of vitamin E beyond nutritional requirements has been shown to provide additional benefits in defined risk groups, and emerging evidence supports the benefits of the intake of vitamin E for human health at a higher dose exceeding the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) by a multiple. Vitamin E is an effective solution for reducing the negative implications of NAFLD by preventing the disease from escalating. Compared with pharmaceutical drugs, vitamin E is highly appealing because it is cost-effective, has a history of safe use, and its benefits have been demonstrated in a number of studies.

This article is available in full in the Special 2015 issue of Nutraceuticals Now