Vitamin E (Tocopherol) Dietary Sources and Daily Requirements

Good Dietary Sources of Vitamin E (Tocopherol)


There are a wide variety of foods that are high in vitamin E. Because there are so many regularly consumed foods that contain vitamin E, getting adequate amounts of this nutrient is generally quite easy. However, to make sure that you are getting enough of this important nutrient in your diet and getting all of the benefits of vitamin E, be sure to eat a mix of the following foods that are rich food sources of vitamin E.




  • Both vegetable oils and seed oils are food sources that are high in vitamin E.


  • Oils that are particularly high in vitamin E include soybean oil, sunflower oil, cottonseed oil, and corn oil.


  • Also, food products made from vegetable oils are a good source of vitamin E, including salad dressing, and margarine.


Seeds and Nuts


  • Seeds and nuts are excellent dietary sources of vitamin E. Sunflower seeds are an especially good way to get a boost of vitamin E.




  • Consuming whole grains and wheat germ is one of the best ways to get vitamin E. However, remember that most nutrients, including vitamin E, are contained in the wheat germ, itself. Whole flours and foods that are made from whole flours will generally still contain most of the original wheat germ. This makes whole flour products preferable to foods made with white (refined) flour, since the wheat germ is stripped out of refined flours, thereby removing most of the nutrients.


Make sure you eat foods made from whole wheat flour, as many of the nutrients, including vitamin E, are stripped from refined flours.




  • Dark green, leafy vegetables are excellent sources of many vitamins and minerals, including vitamin E. Spinach and broccoli are two of the best vegetable sources of vitamin E.


Daily Requirement of Vitamin E (Tocopherol)


The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) is a recommendation of what amount of nutrients should be ingested each day for various people. For vitamin E (tocopherol), the RDA is:


  • 4 milligrams per day for infants 0-6 months old.


  • 5 milligrams per day for infants 7-12 months old.


  • 6 milligrams per day for children 1-3 years old.


  • 7 milligrams per day for children 4-8 years old.


  • 11 milligrams per day for children 9-13 years old.


  • 15 milligrams per day for males and females age 14 and older.


During pregnancy, the RDA for women remains at 15 milligrams per day. However, while nursing, the RDA is increased to 19 milligrams per day.


Because vitamin E is contained in a number of widely consumed foods, a vitamin E deficiency is rather rare. However, a deficiency is generally seen in two situations. First, in premature babies that have a low birth weight. Second, in individuals who have problems absorbing and metabolize fat. This can happen in people who suffer from Crohn’s disease, cystic fibrosis, or abetalipoproteinemia.

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