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Which vitamin could you live without the longest? © Getty Images

Which vitamin could you live without the longest?

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Vitamins are vital to the efficient functioning of the body, but some are more vital than others.

Asked by: Richard Moore, Liverpool

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Vitamin E. Adults only need 15mg a day and you’d get that from three tablespoons of sunflower or rapeseed oil, as well as lots of other common foods. The only people who normally suffer from vitamin E deficiency are those with another disorder, such as cystic fibrosis, that interferes with its absorption.

Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects your nerves and retinas from damage caused by free radicals. But even people born with a genetic disorder that prevents them from using vitamin E don’t develop symptoms for at least the first four years. Although the disorder can cause blindness and muscle weakness, it isn’t normally fatal.


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Authors

luis villazon
Luis VillazonQ&A expert

Luis trained as a zoologist, but now works as a science and technology educator. In his spare time he builds 3D-printed robots, in the hope that he will be spared when the revolution inevitably comes.

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