Vitamin E is a micro-nutrient that comes in eight forms, characterized based on the level of biological activity. Alpha-tocopherol is the most active form of all forms and only form recognized to meet human requirements. It is important for human health and disease prevention. It is found in a wide variety of plant foods. Nuts, seeds and vegetable oils are among the best food sources.

The Food and Nutrition Board at the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences report the following dietary reference intakes for vitamin E:


  • Males and females, between 0-6 months: 4 milligrams/day is needed.
  • Males and females, between 6-12 months: 5 milligrams /day is needed.

In 2000, the National Academy of Sciences established the following Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDA) for vitamin E:


  • Males and females, between 1-3 years: 6 milligrams/day is needed.
  • Males and females, between 4-8 years: 7 milligrams/day is needed.
  • Males and females, between 9-13 years: 11 milligrams/day is needed.

For adolescents and adults:

  • Males and females, between 14 years and older: 15 milligrams/day is needed.
  • For pregnant females, 18 years and above: 15 milligrams/day is needed.
  • For lactating females, 18 years and older : 19 milligrams/day is needed.

One IU of vitamin E is equivalent to either: 0.67mg of the natural form.

The National Academy of Sciences set a Tolerable Upper Intake Level (UL) for vitamin E of 1,000mg (or 1,500 IU of vitamin E in the form of Alpha – Tocopherol). This is for supplemental form of vitamin E daily, and is intended to apply to all individuals age 19 and older.

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