What is Vitamin E deficiency?

Vitamin E is found in a variety of foods, hence its deficiency is rare in healthy people. Vitamin E needs some fat for the digestive system to absorb it. People who have digestive disorders or do not absorb fat properly can develop a vitamin E deficiency.

Vitamin E deficiency can cause nerve and muscle damage that results in loss of feeling in the arms and legs, loss of body movement control, muscle weakness, and vision problems. Another key sign of deficiency is a weakened immune system.

Common vitamin E deficiency symptoms:

  • Weak immune system
  • Tingling
  • Loss of sensation
  • Hemolytic anemia
  • Poor reflexes
  • Muscle weakness
  • Loss of coordination

What causes a vitamin E deficiency?

  • A diet lacking in vitamin E-rich foods
  • Ataxia with vitamin E deficiency (AVED)
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Abetalipoproteinemia
  • Celiac disease
  • Pancreatitis

Further reading: MSD Manuals, National Institutes of Health