Vitamin E Information and Sources


Vitamin E's role in humans is as the main fat soluble antioxidant in cells. It has a crucial role in helping to stop cholesterol from sticking to the walls of small arteries; the process by which we get heart disease and strokes.

There are two classes of compounds which act as vitamin E. The first, and by far the more potent, are the tocopherols, principally α-tocopherol (90% of the vitamin E present in human tissue), with the less active tocotrienols also contributing to activity.

A good vitamin E intake is essential with a high intake of both omega-6 and omega-3 polyunsaturated fat. Vitamin E is abundant in the Western diet and foods rich in it include (shown as mg α-tocopherol per serving):

  • Wheat germ oil (1 tbsp) - 20.3mg
  • Sunflower oil (1 tbsp) - 5.6mg
  • Cottonseed oil (1tbsp) – 4.8mg
  • Safflower oil (1 tbsp) - 4.6mg
  • Canola oil (1tbsp) – 2.4mg
  • Peanut oil (1tbsp) – 2.1mg
  • Olive oil (1tbsp) – 1.9mg
  • Corn oil (1 tbsp) - 1.9mg
  • Soybean oil (1 tbsp) - 1.3mg
  • Almonds (30g) - 7.5mg
  • Sunflower seeds (30g) - 6.0mg
  • Hazelnuts (30g) - 4.3mg
  • Peanut butter, smooth style, fortified (2 tbsp) - 4.2mg
  • Peanuts, dry roasted (30g) - 2.2mg
  • Pine nuts (30g) – 2.6mg
  • Brazil nuts (30g) – 1.6mg
  • Mixed nuts (30g) – 3.1mg
  • Broccoli, frozen, boiled (20g) - 1.2mg
  • Spinach, raw (20g) - 0.6mg
  • Avocado, raw (½ fruit) – 2.1mg
  • Kiwi (1 medium) - 1.1mg
  • Mango, raw (20g) - 0.9mg
  • Tomato purée (60g) – 2.8mg
  • Tomato sauce (50g) – 2.5mg
  • Carrot juice (200ml) – 2.1mg
  • Sardines, canned in oil, drained (90g) – 1.7mg
  • Herring (90g) – 1.5mg
  • Oats (50g) – 0.7mg
  • Fortified breakfast cereals (approx 30g) – 1.6-12.8mg (depending on brand)