Metformin can be safely prescribed to patients with diabetes and psoriasis, according to study findings published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.. The inflammation caused by psoriasis raises the level of an insulin-like growth factor that's linked to diabetes. In addition, psoriasis is linked with insulin resistance, obesity, heart attack, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
Metformin 500 mg or all oral Diabetic drugs are safe.
Metformin is safe. It is actually my favorite drug.
Most safest drug is Metformin
Most of the drugs are safe I prefer Metformin and GLP 1 analogue
All oral drugs are safe
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Diet for psoriasis There's no strong scientific evidence that specific foods can impact psoriasis, but there is evidence that losing extra weight can ease symptoms. Nutritionists and physicians recommend a healthy, balanced diet to control your weight and your psoriasis, as well as lower your risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke (which are elevated in people with psoriasis). Best Food For Psoriasis Carrots and squash "A diet that's high in fruits and vegetables can have an anti-inflammatory effect,". And although there are no studies connecting fruits and vegetables specifically with a reduction in psoriasis symptoms, psoriasis is an inflammatory condition. Specific vegetables that might have inflammation fighting properties include carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, spinach, kale, and broccoli. Fish and seafood Omega-3 fatty acids abundant in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, sardines, and albacore tuna are the foundation of a heart healthy diet. Fish oils are thought to reduce inflammation and help the immune system, which is overactive in people with psoriasis. Given that psoriasis is also linked to a higher risk of heart attack and stroke, it's a good idea to eat fish at least twice a week. Grains Grains such as whole grain bread, cereal, and pasta; oatmeal; and brown rice are another component of an overall healthy diet. Like fruits and vegetables, grains also contain a variety of anti inflammation antioxidants and are high in fiber, which has been linked with lower inflammation levels and better regulation of blood sugar. Legumes such as beans and lentils also have antioxidants and fiber, so include them in your diet as well. Nuts and avocados Fats in general get a bad rap, but there are such things as "good fats." These include the polyunsaturated fats found in nuts, vegetable oils, and avocados, and monounsaturated fats found in soybean oil, walnuts, flaxseed, and certain fish. They're good for you in general (when taken in moderation, of course they still can pack in the calories). Stay away from saturated fats and trans fats, which may increase inflammation in the body. Blueberries Not only do blueberries have anti-inflammatory properties, but also lots of vitamin C, manganese (good for bone health), and fiber. All this while low in fat. Other fruits that may have anti-inflammatory properties include mangoes, strawberries, and figs. But you really can’t go wrong with any fruits, which are right up there with vegetables on the “good-for-you” list. Scientists are only just beginning to uncover other healthful properties of fruits. Blueberries, for instance, may also boost memory and fight heart disease.Dr. Dinesh Agarwal6 Likes17 Answers
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What is Kalonji? Kalonji is an ayurvedic herb, producing blue flowers and black seeds, which are helpful in extracting Kalonji oil. The half meter bush is, in fact, originated in Turkey and Italy. Kalonji black seeds are being eaten for centuries in the Gulf countries, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is abundantly found in these areas. Kalonji oil is used in food in many parts of the world, especially the Middle-East. The plant is given more importance in the Middle-East and Muslim world as Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (S.A.W.) said that Kalonji, the black granules is the remedy for all diseases except death, according to Hazrat Abu Hurerah (R. A). Kalonji are small black seeds, also known as nigella seeds. Importance of Kalonji Oil There are very few ayurvedic herbs which are as important as Kalonji black cumin oil. The black seeds of Kalonji have more than 100 medicinal components. Medically, Kalonji is used as antiseptic and beneficial for many diseases like blood sugar, blood pressure and body weight. Since, it helps to cure many diseases and disorders and helps in developing the resistance of the body, therefore, Nigella seeds are termed as excellent healer. Kalonji therapeutic aspects first came into lime light when Prophet Muhammad (Sallallhu Alaiyhi Wassallam) narrated its therapeutic benefits and its in-depth potential of diseases curability. Kalonji Medicinal Composition The seeds of Nigella sativa have many chemical compositions. Volatile oil: 1.5% Non Volatile Oil: 37.5% Albumen Sugar Organic acids Glucoside Nutritional Facts of Kalonji Oil Nutritionally, Kalonji oil is having many minerals and important nutrients. The black seeds are rich source of calcium, iron, sodium and potassium. This black seed oil has high nutritional value containing dietary fiber in the form of monosaccharides and non-starch polysaccharides. Monosaccharides are found in Kalonji as glucose, rhamnose, xylose, and arabinose. Kalonji is abundant in fatty acid, especially the essential fatty acid and unsaturated one. Total 15 amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein, are found in the black seeds. Arginine and carotene are good for infant growth and vitamin A formation respectively. Kalonji Oil Benefits The health benefits of Kalonji oil are unlimited. Kalonji oil has been used as miracle cure for a number of diseases and disorders. The black seeds oil is unparallel in its efficiency to cure health ailments. Pure Kalonji black cumin oil, which is extracted from Nigella seeds, is used as a component in the preparation of many medicines. The black seed oil is helpful in maintaining health and develop resistance of the body, thus save the body from different infections. It has been the part of more than 200 modern medicine researches. Nigella sativa oil is unique and has the ability to cure many health ailments. Kalonji Oil Treatment for Diseases Kalonji oil in combination with other ayurvedic herbs is useful in the treatment of many diseases. Here is the list of diseases where Kalonji play a pivotal role in their management and treatment. The different diseases for which Kalonji are beneficial: Hypertension, Diabetes, Cough, Asthma, Heart Attack, Cancer, Ladies Diseases, Skin Diseases, Headache, Backache, Toothache, Stomach Pain, Allergy, Polio, Paralysis, Arthritis, Eye Diseases, Memory Power, Kidney Pain, Blood Pressure, Piles, Hair Loss, Skin Diseases, Constipation, Stomach Worms, Jaundice, Dandruff, Psoriasis, Burning Sensation, Obesity, etc.Dr. A K Yadav5 Likes13 Answers
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7 Health Benefits of Bitter Gourd (Karela) Juice food.ndtv.com Sep 3, 2017 12:40 AM ￼ Did you know that bitter gourd or karela is not really a vegetable but a fruit? The part of the plant that is used for consumption and for various medicinal purposes is the fruit of the bitter squash. While we’ve been so busy condemning its bitter taste, we’ve not only overlooked this fact but also the wide range of benefits that drinking bitter gourd juice offers. Bitter gourd juice contains a train of important nutrients ranging from iron, magnesium and vitamin to potassium and vitamin C. An excellent source of dietary fiber, it also contains twice the calcium of spinach, beta-carotene of broccoli, and the potassium of a banana. Here are some crucial benefits of drinking bitter gourd juice. A quick tip to reduce the bitterness of the drink is to add some honey or jaggery to it or pair it with sweet fruits like apple or pears. You can even add lemon juice to lessen the harsh taste of bitter melon juice. A pinch of black pepper and ginger can also decrease the tartness. The taste however, needs to be developed because contrary to its name bitter gourd is in fact sweet for your health. 1. Helps in maintaining blood sugar levels The World Health Organisation has estimated that over 382 million people worldwide suffer from diabetes. Bitter gourd contains an insulin-like compound called Polypeptide-p or p-insulin which has been shown to control diabetes naturally. According to a 2011 study, published in the sJournal Ethnopharmacolgy, a four-week clinical trial showed that 2,000 mg of bitter melon when taken on regular basis reduced the blood glucose level significantly in the patients suffering from type-2 diabetes. Studies have shown that this plant-based insulin in bitter gourd helps patients with type-1 diabetes as well. Another report issued in the Journal of Chemistry & Biology, gave evidence regarding the fact that bitter melon increases the uptake of glucose and improves glycemic control. People suffering from diabetes taking hypoglycaemic drugs may even be required to alter the dosage of their drugs if they consume bitter melon juice daily and consult a doctor before doing so. 2. Lowers bad cholesterol levels Bangalore-based Nutritionist, Dr. Anju Sood, says, “Bitter gourd juice is anti-inflammatory and also helps in lowering the bad cholesterol levels in the body. Thereby, it significantly reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke.” It also maintains the blood pressure of the body as it is rich in potassium, which absorbs excessive sodium in the body. It is rich in iron and folic acid which are known to decrease the risk of stroke and keep your heart healthy. 3. For glowing skin and lustrous hair Longing for that flawless skin? Dr. Simran Saini from Fortis Hospital in New Delhi suggests that bitter gourd juice has powerful anti-oxidants along with vitamin A and C which prevent premature skin ageing and diminishes wrinkles. Furthermore, it reduces acne, aids in treating eczema and psoriasis, as well as protects the skin from the harmful UV rays. The nutrients vitamin A, vitamin C, Biotin and Zinc impart shine and lustre to your locks. Applying bitter gourd juice regularly to your scalp can decrease hair loss and greying of hair, treat split-ends and rough hair, shrug off dandruff, and combat itchiness. You can apply bitter gourd juice directly to stop hair fall or mix it with some curd and massage on your scalp and hair for conditioning. To treat dandruff, you can make a hair mask with bitter gourd juice, cumin seed paste and a tablespoon of lime juice. Leave for 30 minutes and rinse. Dr. Saini adds that the juice also acts as a blood purifier. 4. Cures hangovers and cleanses the liver Got too much alcohol in your system after a crazy night of partying? You can get rid of it quite swiftly by sipping some bitter gourd juice which wipes out alcoholic intoxication settled in your liver. The juice cleanses your bowel as well as heals many liver problems. Published in the International Journal of Vitamin and Nutrition, a study concluded that a compound called Momordica Charantia provides protection against liver failure by strengthening anti-oxidant activity of the enzymes in the liver. It also boosts the functioning of your bladder. 5. Helps in weight loss Bitter gourd is low in calories, fat and carbohydrates. It keeps you full for longer and hence, it can easily fit in your weight loss plan. In a 2010 issue of a report published in the Journal BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine, it was disclosed that extracts of bitter gourd helped in the dislocation of human fat cells and also hindered the formation and growth of new fat cells. It was further concluded that bitter gourd can be viewed as a natural agent for treating obesity. 6. Boosts your immune system Bitter gourd fights viruses and bacteria and strengthens your immunity. It prevents allergies and indigestion. The antioxidants work as powerful defense mechanisms against illness and also help fight free-radical damage that can cause various types of cancer. In 2010, a study was published in the Pharmaceutical Research Journal which stated that bitter-melon has anti-carcinogen and anti-tumour properties. It reduced the risk of prostate, breast and cervical cancer. 7. Great for your eyes Dr. Anshul Jai Bharat says that it helps in preventing vision-related problems such as cataract since it has compounds like beta-carotene and vitamin A which are healthy for your eyes and strengthens eyesight. She adds, “It is also a good home remedy to treat dark circles. “As with everything, moderation is required. Excess consumption of bitter gourd juice may cause abdominal pain and diarrhoea. Pregnant women should also avoid taking too much bitter gourd or its juice as it may stimulate the uterus and lead to preterm labour. 30 ml bitter gourd juice extract is recommended on a daily basis,” says Dr Geeta Buryok, Chief Nutritionist at Max HealthCare.Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau5 Likes11 Answers
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31 Top Benefits Of Prickly Pear (Nagfani) For Skin, Hair & Health stylecraze.com Oct 18, 2017 12:00 PM ￼ A fruit belonging to the cactus family that possesses a wide range of benefits. That’s what the prickly pear is. Do not be intimidated by its look as the fruit pulp is delicious, more than you’d expect it to be. It is often regarded as an excellent cure for a hangover. Let us look at this fruit in detail to know more about benefits of prickly pear, its nutrition profile and also simple ways to include it in your diet. Let’s get started! Table Of Contents What Is Prickly Pear? Prickly pear is a fruit that grows on the leaves of the Nopales cacti, belong to the genus Opuntia, it’s scientific name is Opuntia ficus-indica. It is also referred to as Nagfani in Hindi, Nagajemudu in Telugu, Kallimullpazham in Malayalam, and Dindla in Gujarati. The younger plants are edible and often part of the Mexican diet. The other edible parts of the prickly pear cactus are the flowers, stems, and the leaves. Widely known as “cactus pear”, prickly pear by different names in different countries and regions like Tuna, Nopal, Nopales, Barberry figs, Indian figs. Prickly pear is a cylindrical fruit that has a firm outer skin with barbs and softer inner flesh, which is edible. It is green initially and turns reddish-pink as it matures in most plants (1). It can be eaten raw, boiled, or grilled. It is also used to make juice and jams. These tasty, oval fruits sprout from the tops of prickly cactus leaves and range in various colors from deep red-green to yellow or purple. It’s taste is similar to watermelon/raspberries and it has cucumber-like fragrance. What Is The History Of Prickly Pear? Being a cactus, the prickly pear plant can survive in dry weather conditions. It is said to have originated in Mexico and the northern countries of South America, which fall under the arid to semi-arid climate categories. In these regions, it has been a diet staple for thousands of years. It was later found to be used in the Middle East and Indian subcontinent as well. With increasing popularity, prickly pear cacti are now cultivated in Europe and Australia too. The fruit is relished not just for its flavor but also for its health benefits. Its anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and anti-aging properties have made this thorny fruit popular. So, why are these fruits food for you? Why Are Prickly Pears Good For You? Prickly pear is rich in many nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber. These make it a wonderful and healthy addition to your diet for both culinary and medicinal purposes. Their low cholesterol and saturated fat content make them a suitable option for many people across the globe who are suffering from obesity and heart disease. These versatile fruits are not a hassle to cut or prepare. If you have access to them, go ahead and purchase a few. Let us look at this fruit’s nutrition facts now. Prickly Pears Nutrition Facts When we talk about the nutritional value of prickly pear, it contains magnesium, amino acids, antioxidants, vitamins C and B, beta-carotene, iron, calcium, potassium, and many other nutrients. Having one cup of this fruit can be a good source of a considerable part of the daily intake value of many vitamins and minerals. Bear in mind that the calcium found in this traditional desert plant may not be present in its biologically active form. It is present in the form of a non-absorbable complex (calcium oxalate). Nutrition Facts Serving Size 149g Amount Per ServingCalories 61Calories from Fat 6% Daily Value*Total Fat1g1%Saturated Fat 0g0%Trans FatCholesterol 0mg0%Sodium 7mg0mgTotal Carbohydrate 14g5%Dietary Fiber 5g21%SugarsProtien 1gVitamin A1%Vitamin C35%Calcium8%Iron2% Vitamins Amounts Per Selected Serving %DV Vitamin A64.1IU1%Vitamin C20.9mg35%Vitamin D––Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)––Vitamin K––Thiamin0.0mg1%Riboflavin0.1mg5%Niacin0.7mg3%Vitamin B60.1mg4%Folate8.9mcg2%Vitamin B120.0mcg0%Pantothenic Acid––Choline–Betaine–Vitamin C35%MineralsAmounts Per Selected Serving%DVCalcium83.4mg8%Iron0.4mg2%Magnesium127mg32%Phosphorus35.8mg4%Potassium328mg9%Sodium7.5mg0%Zinc0.2mg1%Copper0.1mg6%Manganese––Selenium0.9mcg1%Fluoride––Fats & Fatty AcidsAmounts Per Selected Serving%DVTotal Fat0.8g1%Saturated Fat0.1g0%Monounsaturated Fat0.1gPolyunsaturated Fat0.3gTotal trans fatty acids–Total trans-monoenoic fatty acids–Total trans-polyenoic fatty acids–Total Omega-3 fatty acids34.3mgTotal Omega-6 fatty acids277mg The amount of vitamin C present in one cup of prickly pear constitutes 35% of our daily value intake, whereas magnesium constitutes 32% of the DV. It is also rich in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, which are the healthy forms of fats that possess anti-inflammatory properties. Now that we have a brief understanding of the nutrients found in prickly pear cactus fruit, let us look what the presence of these nutrients implies. The many health benefits of this fruit are discussed below. What Are The Health Benefits Of Prickly Pear Cactus? Some of prickly pear health benefits include its ability to lower cholesterol levels, aid in weight loss, improve the digestive process, fight cancer cells, decrease the risk of diabetes, boost the immune system and reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s. Read on to know more. 1. Potential Role In Weight Control ￼ Image: Shutterstock Obesity is a global epidemic and needs to be managed at the earliest. Instead of resorting to extreme measures like harmful medications or surgery, a simple solution to this problem could be consuming plenty of dietary fiber. Prickly pear fruit contains fiber that will make you feel full for longer and reduce hunger pangs. It also helps in the elimination of dietary fat by binding it and excreting it from the system. As the intestines do not get a chance to absorb the dietary fat, this fruit effectively helps in weight control and even weight loss (2). 2. Helps Lower Cholesterol Continuing on the weight loss tangent, prickly pear can also help reduce the cholesterol levels in the blood. Its fiber (pectin) content can be held responsible for this as it helps eliminate LDL cholesterol from the body. Experiments have shown that prickly pear can reduce both plasma levels and hepatic levels of cholesterol (3, 4). Also, certain phytosterols found in cactus seed oil can alter cholesterol metabolism in a positive way (5). Hyperlipidemia, the condition of high cholesterol levels, can also be brought under control. 3. Source Of Essential Micronutrients The essential micronutrients found in prickly pear are vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, iron, magnesium, calcium, and potassium. Of these, the highest % DV is held by vitamin C and magnesium (6). Consumption of one cup of this fruit on a regular basis can provide your body with these micronutrients that are required for various physiological and metabolic processes. 4. Fights Cancer Cells The flavonoid compounds in prickly pear lower the risk of breast, prostate, stomach, pancreatic, ovarian, cervical, and lung cancers. They were shown to inhibit the growth of cancer cells in the lab and mice models. They also caused the death of these cancerous cells at higher concentrations (7). These compounds also have the ability to remove free radicals and improve the activities of pro-oxidant enzymes. 5. Prevents Ulcers Both physical and mental stress can cause changes in the gastrointestinal mucosa and result in gastric ulcers. Inflammation occurs as there is an increase in the pro-inflammatory compounds that damage the gastric wall. Prickly pear exerts a positive effect on the gastric mucosa, and this activity is mainly facilitated by a compound called betanin found in this fruit. The gastric mucus production is regulated, and there is also a reduction in the pro-inflammatory chemicals. As a result of this, the chances of developing ulcers are highly reduced by the consumption of prickly pear (8). 6. Blood Sugar Regulation ￼ Image: Shutterstock Cactus pear is often touted for its hypoglycemic activity. This means that the ingestion of this fruit or its extract can lower high blood glucose levels as well as maintain normal levels. Different experiments on both diabetic and antidiabetic rats have shown a decrease in blood glucose levels. The main mechanism of this reduction is a decrease in the intestinal absorption of glucose (9, 10). Prickly pear cactus fruit’s fiber and pectin content are considered responsible for this activity. Once the blood sugar levels are brought under control, type II diabetes can be managed easily. 7. Nopal Cactus Cleans The Colon The high fiber content of prickly pear not only helps in lowering blood sugar/glucose and cholesterol levels but also helps in regulating the general functioning of the colon. Enough glucose is absorbed, and unhealthy fats and excess bile are eliminated from the body. This keeps the colon in optimum health. The inflammation and oxidative stress that the colon is being subjected to are also alleviated. The antioxidants present in prickly pear eliminate the free radicals and inflammation-inducing compounds, thus cleansing and protecting the colon (11). 8. Soothes The Stomach In Mexico, prickly pear is commonly used as a dietary supplement. People consume prickly pear daily to regularize their bowel movements. This helps to maintain a healthy digestive system and prevents constipation. The anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties of compounds found in cactus pear are also responsible for aiding stomach health and soothing it (12). 9. Protects The Liver We often consume carcinogens and other compounds that can damage the liver without realizing the damage they can cause. Here’s a solution. Consume prickly pear as a juice or in the form of jams or jellies to prevent liver damage. It contains plenty of antioxidants that can reduce the oxidative stress caused by such compounds on the liver. It exerts hepatoprotective activity that mainly involves eliminating free radicals and increasing the body’s antioxidant activity against these compounds (13). 10. Reduces Hangovers ￼ Image: Shutterstock This fruit has the ability to reduce the effects of a hangover. Prickly pear juice reduces the production of inflammatory mediators that induce the uncomfortable feeling during alcohol hangovers. It also reduces other symptoms like nausea and dry mouth (14). 11. Immune System Booster The vitamin C content of prickly pear is responsible for this particular health benefit. Vitamin C boosts the body’s immune response against various infections. It increases the production of white blood cells that undertake the process of killing and eliminating infectious microorganisms from the body. Vitamin C also acts as an antioxidant and reduces the free radical damage throughout the body. This also gives the immune system a boost (15, 16). 12. Reduces Risk Of Colon Cancer Prickly pear contains various types of antioxidants like flavonoids, quercetins, gallic acid, phenolic compounds, betacyanins, etc. The antioxidant activity of these was tested against colon cancer cell lines, and the viability of these cells was greatly affected by them (17). Quercetin, especially, plays a key role in the disruption of a certain pathway involved in the development of cancer cells (18). 13. Protects Against Heart Disease The fiber content of prickly pear helps reduce cholesterol levels in the body and maintain blood pressure. Hence, hypertension and bad cholesterol are brought under control. These factors are associated with atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and other heart diseases. Cactus fruit’s antioxidants also help to enhance cardiovascular health (19, 20). The biologically active flavonoids in prickly pears normalize the blood platelet stickiness, which helps to maintain good cardiovascular health (21). Hence, herbal doctors often recommend consuming prickly pear for alleviating cardiovascular disease. 14. Alleviates Hypertension (High Blood Pressure) Prickly pear is rich in the mineral potassium. When ingested, this mineral can reduce the pressure on the blood vessels and lower the elevated blood pressure levels. Regular intake of prickly pear can maintain normal blood pressure levels and give relief from hypertension. The betalain found in this fruit also strengthens the inner walls of the blood vessels, further aiding in the promotion of cardiovascular health (22). 15. Osteoporosis Protection ￼ Image: Shutterstock This fruit is anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antihistamine in nature. It also contains flavonoids that prevent the release of the compounds that help in inflammation of the joints and muscles caused due to gout, arthritis, exercise, fibromyalgia, and allergies. Osteoporosis, which is essentially an inflammatory disease, can be prevented and treated with prickly pear supplementation (23). 16. Stroke Prevention A decrease in total body fat and elevated cholesterol, glucose, and blood pressure levels can all impact cardiovascular health in a very positive way. As these levels are reduced in the body, the risk of stroke or heart attack goes down (24, 25). 17. Reduces Frequency Of Migraine Headaches Migraine is a chronic inflammatory condition that is characterized by the presence of a severe headache (usually on one side of the head) with disturbances in digestion and vision. And to alleviate this inflammation, anti-inflammatory compounds are needed. These are found in abundance in the prickly pear fruit, especially the compound indicaxanthin. This is technically a dietary pigment that can reduce various pro-inflammatory factors in the body (26). If consumed frequently, this fruit can help people deal with migraines. It also reduces their intensity and frequency. 18. Alleviates Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS) Cramps, back pain, headaches, and breast tenderness are common symptoms that woman experience during PMS. Most of these symptoms are associated with an increase in the levels of prostaglandins (hormone-like chemicals) in the body. Prickly pear is known to inhibit the synthesis of prostaglandins, thus alleviating PMS symptoms (27). 19. Strengthens Bones And Teeth Our teeth and bones are composed of calcium, and our diet is the only source of this mineral. The body obviously cannot synthesize calcium by itself. One cup of fresh prickly pear fruit contains 83 milligrams of calcium, which constitutes about 8% of the daily intake recommended by the FDA. This calcium intake will strengthen our bones and teeth (28). 20. Promotes Digestive Health ￼ Image: Shutterstock Fiber is an important part of our diet when it comes to digestive health. And prickly pear is loaded with fiber. This aids smooth digestion of various components of the food we eat and enhances the activity of the digestive enzymes. Additionally, the fiber from the fruit can help in the smooth elimination of wastes from the body (29). 21. Makes Your Nails Healthy Prickly pear seed oil can be used to moisturize dry and damaged nails and restore the health of the nails and cuticles. It contains moisturizing fatty acids like linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. Small concentrations of other fatty acids are also found (30). What Are The Benefits Of Prickly Pear For The Skin? The seeds of this fruit are cold pressed to prepare a beauty oil. It possesses many properties that give it the following benefits: 22. Anti-Aging Properties It contains skin-softening vitamins E and K. It also contains a good amount of skin hydrating and nourishing fatty acids. These prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines, thus making prickly pear oil a good anti-aging agent (30). 23. Anti-Inflammatory Agent This xerophytic plant’s oil has great inflammation-fighting capabilities because of the presence of anti-inflammatory compounds. The betalains and phenolic compounds exert this effect when the oil is applied topically on the skin. Swelling and irritation due to insect bites, scrapes, or inflammatory skin conditions like psoriasis and dermatitis can be reduced by the application of this oil. 24. Brightens The Skin Tone This oil is also often used for its skin brightening properties. Linoleic acid, which is a fatty acid, not only nourishes the skin but also eliminates dullness. It also protects the skin from UV radiation (31). 25. Helps Achieve Smoother Skin It is super hydrating for dull and dry skin. Linoleic, oleic, and palmitic fatty acids, which are found in major proportions in prickly pear seed oil, supply the skin with the oils it lacks. 26. Heals Cuts, Wounds, And Blemishes Phenolic compounds are also found in good concentrations in prickly pear oil, which exert antioxidant effects on the skin and help repair damaged skin (32). Cut wounds, scars, and other blemishes that may have formed due to various reasons will start healing and fading over time. Apply this oil regularly to reap its healing benefits. 27. Reduces Dark Circles Dark circles under the eyes are formed due to many reasons. Lack of sleep, dehydration, and oxidative stress are the major factors that can cause your under eye area to become dull and get a bluish-purplish tinge. Prickly pear seed oil contains skin nourishing fatty acids that also possess skin brightening properties. In conjunction, these properties can help to lighten your dark circles. All of these properties make prickly pear seed oil an excellent choice for mature, aging, and/or damaged skin. Let us now look at the benefits of prickly pear for your hair. How Does Prickly Pear Benefit Your Hair? Both the fruit and the oil from its seeds can be used to smoothen hair texture, reduce hair fall, increase hair growth, and improve hair health overall. 28. Nourishes Hair We already know that the oil from the seeds of this cactus fruit contains plenty of fatty acids, minerals, and vitamins that can benefit the skin. Similarly, these can also nourish the scalp and hair by providing the healthy oils they may be lacking. A special mention is required for prickly pear’s vitamin E content that can deeply condition the hair. 29. Makes Your Hair Shiny ￼ Image: Shutterstock You can use prickly pear oil to make your hair glossy. This oil can give you double the amount of fatty acids and protein than argan oil, which is a popular oil used for restoring the natural hair shine. 30. Reduces Hair Loss The pulp of this fruit is often added to hair care products as its antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds can give relief from many scalp conditions and, in turn, reduce hair loss and stimulate hair growth (33, 34). 31. Natural Hair Conditioner Here’s a simple recipe to concoct your own hair conditioner at home using prickly pear cactus: You Will Need 1-2 large nopal cactus pads1/2 cucumber2-3 tablespoons extra virgin coconut oil1-2 tablespoons coconut milk (optional) What You Have To Do 1. Wash the cactus carefully and peel it to remove all the thorns and barbs. 2. Dice this into small squares and add chopped cucumber to it. 3. Add the olive oil and coconut milk and blend everything. 4. Apply this on the scalp and hair. 5. Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and then rinse it off thoroughly. Make sure no residue remains in your hair. This cactus pear hair mask will make your hair healthy, silky, and soft. It is also useful to protect your hair from the scorching sun and rejuvenate heat-damaged hair. Those were the benefits of the fruit. Now, let’s see where you can buy these delectable fruits. Where To Buy Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit? Prickly pears can be easily found in regular grocery stores. If you cannot find them there, try the Mexican or Middle Eastern vegetable markets. See the next section to know how to make prickly pear a wonderful addition to your diet. How To Incorporate Prickly Pear Into Your Diet? ￼ Image: Shutterstock The prickly pear cactus plant has different parts that are edible. The pad of the cactus, which is often referred to as the nopal, is used as a vegetable in Mexican dishes. Its texture is similar to that of okra when cooked. It is boiled or grilled and is added to soups and salads mostly. Apart from the cactus pad, the fruit or the pear itself can be eaten. Like any other fruit, you can simply rinse it, peel it, and eat it fresh. The flowers of this plant are often used as garnishing or added to salads for extra flavor. Eating the prickly pear fruit is not a difficult process. All you need to do is peel the skin and eat the fleshy pulp present inside. Be careful of the spines when you are handling the fruit initially and the seeds when you are eating it. Many people also prepare jams and jellies from prickly pear fruit. If you do not have access to a store where you can purchase this fruit from, there are extracts available in the market. The dosage of these extracts would depend on the concentration, and it is best if the manufacturer’s recommendation is followed. Prickly pear water is also available in the market these days. This is prepared from the juice of the fruit and filtered water, along with some additional ingredients like lemon juice. Prickly pear is used in various forms to serve various purposes. These uses are given below. Uses Of Prickly Pear Cactus As A Supplement Due to its benefits for lowering blood sugar levels, supplements for type 2 diabetes patients have been designed. The extract is also used to lower cholesterol, target obesity, and lower the risk of heart disease. This supplement is available usually in a powder or a pill form. People also use the supplement before drinking alcohol to reduce the symptoms of an alcoholic hangover. Juice And Pulp The juice or the pulp (without seeds) of the prickly pear fruit is extracted to make jams and jellies. The juice, by itself, can be very tart. It is often added to lemonade or margaritas for that extra zing. To reduce the tartness and still benefit from this amazing xerophyte, jams and jellies are prepared. Medicinal Uses When it comes to usage in medicine, prickly pear is used in medications for: Type 2 diabetesHigh cholesterolObesityAlcohol hangoverHeart diseaseColitisDiarrheaViral infectionsBenign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH) (35) Now that we covered the many uses of this fruit, it is also important to know how to select the best fruit and store it so that you can derive the maximum benefits. Read on to know how. How To Select And Store Cactus Pear Mid-August is considered the best time to harvest prickly pear cactus fruit. Once you have located a plant, follow these steps: Using a pair of tongs, gently pluck the fruit from the cactus pad. It should come off easily. Beware of the spines on the nopales and also the glochids (microscopic spines) on the fruit. Using gardening or leathergloves can help prevent any spines from piercing your skin.Transfer the fruits to a large, clean bowl or bucket. Make sure to leave at least one fruit per cactus pad so that your harvesting does not interfere with the plants’ reproduction process.Pick fruits that are ruby colored (or other colors seen in prickly pear). Do not pick the ones that are still green at the ends.Rinse the fruits with water thoroughly. Swirl them around gently while doing this to get rid of the spines. Cactus pear fruits remain ripe for about a week. They can also be refrigerated for 3-4 days in a plastic bag. Here is how you can cut and prepare prickly pear fruit. How To Eat Prickly Pear Cactus Rinse the fruit thoroughly in a colander using cold water. Keep swirling it around gently while doing this to get rid of the all the spines.Once all the spines have been removed, gently pat the fruit dry using a soft napkin.Take a sharp knife and cut the top and bottom parts of the fruit and discard them.Cut lengthwise to peel off the skin, similar to how you would peel an orange with a knife.Chop or slice the fruit, as per your preference, and eat it. Though the seeds are safe to ingest, many people prefer not to as they are too hard. If you are still confused about how to consume this exotic fruit, we have some simple but delicious recipes for you below. Any Prickly Pear Recipes? 1. Prickly Pear Lemonade ￼ Image: Shutterstock You Will Need 1 prickly pear2 tablespoons lemon juice1 cup water1/2 tablespoon sugar5-6 ice cubesMint leaves for garnishing Recipe Add the sugar and lemon juice to water and mix well.Cut the prickly pear in half and remove the pulp present inside. Add this to the lemonade.Blend all of these for 15-30 seconds.Strain the mixture to remove the seeds.Add ice cubes and drink this refreshing lemonade with a twist. 2. Prickly Pear Puree You Will Need Prickly pear Recipe Rinse and peel the fruit. De-seed it.Squash the flesh thoroughly for a couple of minutes until you get a smooth puree.Store this in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 3. Prickly Pear Ice Cream You Will Need 1 cup prickly pear juice1/8 cup lemon juice1 quart half and half1 teaspoon sea salt2 cups sugar1 teaspoon tangerine zestA pinch of lemon zest Recipe Combine all the ingredients and pour into an ice cream maker.Let it run for about 20 minutes.Freeze the ice cream overnight or for at least six hours. 4. Prickly Pear Cactus Jelly You Will Need 2 1/2 lbs prickly pear fruit3-4 tablespoons lemon juice2 cups sugarPeel of half a lemonWater Recipe Singe off the spines on the fruit and carefully peel them.Cut into inch-long chunks and transfer to a pot. Add enough water to cover the entire fruit.Bring this to a boil and then let it simmer for 10 minutes.Strain this using a cheesecloth to remove all the seeds. Use a wooden spoon to mash the pulp and get all the juice from it.To this prickly pear juice, add the lemon juice, sugar, and lemon peel.Cook this at high heat and keep stirring regularly until you get a jelly consistency.Store in airtight jars in the refrigerator for up to six months. Let me now summarize some key facts about prickly pear for you. What Are The Facts About Prickly Pear I Need To Know? Prickly pear is also known as the nopal cactus and has flat, oval green leaves called pads, which are covered in spines.The fruits arise from the top of the cactus pads and are edible.This fruit, which is also called as the cactus pear, cactus fig or tuna, is usually red.Prickly pear is rich in vitamin C, magnesium, and omega fatty acids. It contains zero cholesterol.Even the pads of this plant are edible. They are commonly used in soups and salads.The fruits can be ingested by themselves or in the form of juice, jams, jellies, and even candy.Cactus fig is beneficial for the treatment of many ailments like high cholesterol, obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and stomach issues. Even though this fruit has plenty of benefits, it can, at times, cause reactions in a few people. Here are the side effects experienced. Side Effects Of Prickly Pear Cactus Upset stomach, diarrhea, bloating, and headache are the most common side effects noticed (36).Nasal inflammation or asthma can be caused due to an allergy to it.Eating broiled nopal stem can have an extreme hypoglycemic effect. This is not seen when raw stems or ripe fruit are eaten.It can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb certain medications due to its diuretic properties.Pregnant or women who are breastfeeding should not intake prickly pear in any form as it can interfere with the fetus’ or child’s development. Let us now look at some of the commonly asked questions by our readers about prickly pear. Expert’s Answers For Readers’ Questions What can reduce the skin irritation caused by prickly pear contact? The spines (glochids) present on prickly pear can come in contact with the skin and at times, cause allergic reactions such as hives. These usually subside within an hour or so. If the spines have pierced the skin, carefully pluck them using tweezers or cellophane tape. To reduce the itching and irritation, you can use over-the-counter steroids or antihistamines. Does prickly pear/tuna increase hemoglobin? Is it safe to consume? Prickly pear has been known to increase hemoglobin. However, there is no clinical proof for this. However, it is absolutely safe to consume. So, go ahead and try it. Does prickly pear cause constipation? Prickly pear is often used to relieve constipation because of its fiber content. Irrespective of this, excessive intake can actually cause constipation because of the high amount of fiber blocking the intestines. Hence, it is best to consume it in moderate amounts. How to prune prickly pear cactus? Pruning is best done in spring or late summer to remove damaged, poorly formed, or excessive cactus pads. Using protective hand gear and clothing, carefully trim the pads at their bases. It might be best to cut off some of the top parts of the pads first to get better access to the base. If you are unsure about pruning the plant yourself or the cactus has grown out too much, get professional help. Are all prickly pear cactus edible? What kind of cactus is edible? The genus Opuntia consists of different species of cacti that are edible. You can identify these plants by their oval, flattened, green, and spine covered pads. The prickly pear cactus (O. Ficus-indica) is the most commonly eaten species. How many calories are in cactus pears? One cup of cactus pear contains around 61 calories. Is a cactus a fruit or a vegetable? The prickly pear cactus is one of those plants that is a vegetable and a fruit. The green pads are the vegetable whereas the red pear is the fruit. Have you ever tried prickly pear fruit? Or have you had a chance to have one of those delicious Mexican dishes with the cactus pads in it? Share your experience with us in the comments section. Stay healthy! Recommended Articles:Dr. Tapan Kumar Sau3 Likes11 Answers
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Best Benefits Of Vitamin E For Skin Hair And Health stylecraze.com Sep 25, 2017 12:00 PM ￼ Vitamin E is a wonder drug! It can treat a range of problems of the heart and blood including blocked arteries, high blood pressure, hardened arteries in the leg, varicose veins, diabetes and related complications, and nerve including Alzheimer’s diseases and dementia. Vitamin E is also beneficial for the eyes, safety of the fetus in the womb, women’s health, and impotence in men. It is also commonly used to heal parched and dehydrated skin and is increasingly found in all pharmaceutically produced skin care products. Vitamin E or alpha-tocopherol is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is predominantly found in green leafy vegetables, nuts and seeds, seafood, and fruits. Vitamin E supplements are prescribed when your body is, for some reason, unable to absorb the nutrient from your regular diet. Topical application of Vitamin E can be in the form of an oil extract used on your skin and in your hair for growth and nourishment. Vitamin E Oil Uses Skin Benefits Hair Benefits Health Benefits Vitamin E Benefits For Skin 1. Acts As A Moisturizer Vitamin E restores and rejuvenates dehydrated skin. What You Need Vitamin E oilMoisturizer or carrier oil like olive oil or seaweed serum What You Need To Do Mix a few drops of vitamin E oil with your night moisturizing lotion and apply it on your body before going to bed. Why Does It Work Vitamin E is an oil-soluble nutrient and is hence heavier than water-soluble products (1). It works best for dry and damaged skin since it restores the lost moisture (2). Caution If you have normal or oily skin or are prone to breakout, you should seek a dermatologist’s advice. Since it is a heavy humectant, vitamin E can increase the chances of breakouts. 2. Reverses Premature Skin Aging Vitamin E thwarts all chances of your skin becoming dull, wrinkled, and saggy. Why Does It Work Vitamin E boosts the production of collagen, a fiber-like protein that is responsible for maintaining skin elasticity (3), (4). It thereby reduces the ocurrence of fine lines and wrinkles that are signs of aging (5). 3. Treats Sunburns Vitamin E is also known to lead to quick recovery from sunburns. What You Need Vitamin E oil What You Need To Do Take a few drops of vitamin E oil or break a vitamin E capsule, and rub it gently over the burnt area. Why Does It Work Vitamin E contains antioxidants that neutralize the effects of free radicals caused by ultraviolet radiation, thus soothing sunburns (6), (7). 4. Lightens Dark Spots Dark spots can be attributed to a variety of factors such as free radical damage, aging, liver problems, etc. Vitamin E can alleviate such problems. What You Need Vitamin E capsuleMoisturizer or carrier oil like olive oil What You Need To Do Break the capsule and mix it with your body lotion or a carrier oil like olive oil.Then, apply it over the dark spots.Continue once daily until the spots have become visibly lighter. Why Does It Work Vitamin E is an enriched source of free radical fighting antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce free radical damage that may have resulted in the hyperpigmentation leading to spots (8). ￼ Image: Shutterstock 5. Acts As A Cleansing Agent Vitamin E also helps cleanse dirt, grime, and other impurities while simultaneously maintaining your skin’s oil balance. What You Need To Do Use a few drops of vitamin E oil on a cotton ball to wipe your face.Use twice daily. Why Does It Work Vitamin E is a heavy emollient, which makes it easy to remove impurities from the surface of your skin as well as maintain its oil balance (9). 6. Heals Dry Fingernails Vitamin E oil is an effective treatment for dry, cracked cuticles and nails. What You Need To Do Rub a few drop of vitamin E oil on dried cuticles and nails and massage. Why Does It Work Vitamin E oil, being a great moisturizer, is suitable for application on dry nails and cuticles (10). Thus, it protects your skin. 7. Treatment Of Stretch Marks Vitamin E oil is beneficial post delivery since it helps fade stretch marks. What You Need To Do Regular application of this oil on the stretch marks coupled with a gentle rubbing motion has shown to reduce the appearance of these marks. Why Does It Work Stretch marks appear owing to skin losing its elasticity because of the stretching of the upper and lower layers of the skin. They manifest as white stripe-like marks. Vitamin E oil is known to restore skin elasticity and lighten stretch marks (11). 8. Soothes Pain From Cold Sores Vitamin E oil is known to take the bite off painful cold sores. What You Need To Do Crack open a vitamin E oil capsule and directly apply it on the blister. Why Does It Work This oil acts as a lip moisturizer and is extremely effective in getting rid of dryness resulting from a cold sore and its eruption, thereby providing relief from the stinging sensation that accompanies it (12). Benefits Of Vitamin E For Hair 9. Stimulates Hair Growth Vitamin E repairs damaged hair follicles and encourages healthy hair growth. What You Need Vitamin E capsulesWarm coconut oil or olive oil What You Need To Do Break the vitamin E capsules and mix the extract with the warm coconut or olive oil.Then, massage your hair and scalp with this mixture.Leave it on for about 30 minutes before rinsing it off with lukewarm water. Why Does It Work Vitamin E oil contains antioxidants that improve the circulation of blood to all parts of the body, including the scalp. It conditions your hair from the root to the shaft and ensures healthier growth(13). ￼ Image: Shutterstock 10. Prevents Premature Graying Vitamin E oil is very effective in slowing down the aging process, be it your skin or hair. Why Does It Work The potent antioxidants present in this vitamin E can effectively prevent the corrosion of tissues, thereby reducing the probability of premature graying (14). 11. Gives Lustrous Hair Oiling your hair with vitamin E oil on a regular basis deeply conditions the hair and makes it healthier and shinier than before. Why Does It Work Vitamin E is a natural moisturizer that keeps your scalp in good condition. Also, since vitamin E can be directly applied to your hair to condition it and make it smoother and softer. 12. Repairs Split Ends Split ends and other damages caused due to constant blow drying, curling, and coloring are some of the common problems associated with hair. They can be treated at home with the help of vitamin E oil. What You Need 3 ounces olive oil3 ounces coconut oil3 ounces hemp oil3 ounces jojoba oil2 ounces vitamin E oil What You Need To Do All you need to do is mix the olive, coconut, hemp, and jojoba oils to make an oil mixture.Add vitamin E oil to it.This can be used either as a hot oil or as a sealant to cure split ends. Why Does It Work The vitamin E helps strengthen and smoothen the cuticles of your hair, thereby reducing instances of splitting and breakage (16). Vitamin E Benefits For Health 13. Treats Minor Burns Vitamin E oil can be used to treat minor burns and injuries. What You Need To Do Pour a few drops of vitamin E oil on a cotton ball and gently apply on the burn area.Make sure that the burn has cooled down before you apply the oil. Repeat this over the next few days until it has healed completely. Why Does It Work Vitamin E oil has remarkable curative powers. It has the ability to heal wounds caused by small burns (17). 14. Lightens Scars It is considered to be a superior treatment option for the removal of scars caused due to burns or acne. What You Need To Do You can apply a few drops of vitamin E oil to the scar tissue irrespective of whether it is old and faded or still fresh.Gently massage the oil into the scar in a circular motion. Why Does It Work The oil will penetrate deep into the skin to repair the scar tissue at the source, thereby helping to diminish the appearance of blemishes (18). ￼ Image: Shutterstock 15. Prevents Skin Cancer Vitamin E oil is known to effectively prevent skin cancer. What You Need To Do Add around 4 to 5 drops of vitamin E oil to your sunscreen.Apply it before heading out. Why Does It Work The powerful antioxidants present in vitamin E act as a protective shield against the harmful effects of the sun that cause the multiplication of cancerous cells (19). 16. Treats Other Skin Disorders Vitamin E proves to be an effective treatment for skin disorders like eczema and psoriasis. What You Need To Do Apply vitamin E oil twice a day on the affected area on a regular basis for quick recovery. Why Does It Work It keeps your skin supple and combats the dryness of eczema and restores skin elasticity (20). Vitamin E can also restore the mechanism of skin regeneration, thereby effectively treating psoriasis (21). 17. Reduces The Effects Of Bad Cholesterol Including vitamin E oil in your diet supports the heart, which in turn ensures a long and healthy life. Why Does It Work The accumulation of bad cholesterol in the arteries causes the heart to pump harder to circulate the blood, thereby increasing the risk of a heart attack. Vitamin E oil negates the effects of bad cholesterol by disallowing it to oxidize and prevents it from lining up the arteries (22). 18. Treats Cystic Fibrosis In Babies Vitamin E supplements are known to help fight off the effects of disorders like cystic fibrosis that results in pancreatic blockage. What You Need To Do Include dietary vitamin E supplements in your child’s food to alleviate this problem. Why Does It Work Vitamin E supplements help children with cystic fibrosis maintain adequate weight and alleviate pancreatic blockage that results from the deficiency (23). Foods Sources Some of the food sources that can help you naturally supplement your vitamin E deficit include: Sunflower Seeds: An ounce of dry roasted sunflower seeds delivers 7.4 mg of vitamin E that basically amounts to close to 90% of your daily requirement. In case sunflower seeds are difficult to find, you can replace them with sunflower oil since it provides 5.6 mg of vitamin E. Avocado: Just half an avocado contains 2 mg of vitamin E and 161 calories. It makes up a major chunk of both your vitamin E as well as calorie intake. Pine Nuts: One ounce of pine nuts contain 2.6 mg vitamin E and 191 calories. You can either choose to add pine nuts in your salads for more texture or drizzle some pine nut oil. Spinach: Spinach is a very nutritious green that contains adequate amounts of calcium, folates, as well as vitamin E. One cup of boiled spinach can make up for 20% of your required vitamin E content. It is also a good source of fiber that helps in weight management. Kale: Kale is an increasing popular salad green that also contains a decent amount of vitamin E. Abundant in many nutrients, one cup of boiled kale can cover 6% of your daily vitamin E requirement. Turnip Greens: These are not the most delectable greens, but they are high nutritious. Half a cup of turnip greens contains 2.9 mg of vitamin E and only 24 calories. Swiss Chard: Swiss chard is the healthiest among all greens containing abundant vitamins A, C, and K, along with enough vitamin E. One cup of boiled Swiss chard is accountable for 17% of your daily vitamin E requirement. Mustard Greens: A lot like swiss chard, mustard greens contain a variety of essential nutrients. One cup of boiled greens contains about 14% of your dietary requirement of vitamin E. Almonds: Nuts usually contain a high concentration of vitamin E as is found in almonds with 7.5 mg in every ounce. Parsley: Parsley is not only a great idea for additional flavor and texture to your salad, but it is also adequately rich in vitamin E. Nutritional Requirement Of Vitamin E Here is an overview of the age-wise nutritional requirement of Vitamin E: Category (Children & Adults)Tolerable Upper Intake Levels (UL) of Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) in milligrams (mg) and International Units (IU)1-3 years200 mg/day (300 IU)4-8 years300 mg/day (450 IU)9-13 years600 mg/day (900 IU)14-18 years800 mg/day (1,200 IU)19 years and up1,000 mg/day (1,500 IU) Risks Of Deficiency Vitamin E is an essential nutrient required for the development and maintenance of the human body. Deficiencies of vitamin Emanifest in the form of: Dryness of skinCataractMild anemiaDecreased sex driveReproductive and fertility issuesLeg crampsGastrointestinal problems Risks Of Over Consumption Vitamin E usage mostly includes oral consumption or topical application. When consuming orally, it is advisable to limit the dosage to 15 mg daily. Exceeding this limit might cause serious side effects. Also, people with the following health problems should avoid consumption of oral vitamin E supplements: Diabetes Vitamin E can increase the risks of heart failure in people suffering from diabetes. Low Vitamin K Levels It can worsen clotting problems in case of vitamin K deficiency. History Of Cardiac Issues Vitamin E can increase the risks of heart attack among people with a history of heart-related problems. Heart And Neck Cancer People suffering from cancer of the neck or heart should avoid taking more than 400 IU vitamin E per day. Retinitis Pigmentosa Synthetic vitamin E supplements can speed up vision loss among patients with retinitis pigmentosa. A lower (3 IU/day) and controlled dosage is, however, harmless. Surgeries Since vitamin E is a blood thinner, it can increase the risks of bleeding and should hence be avoided before and after surgery. Vitamin E is a dietary supplement that is necessary for maintaining overall good health. If you know of some more benefits of Vitamin E, feel free to leave us a comment. Recommended ArticlesDr. Tapan Kumar Sau2 Likes6 Answers