Health Library

Vitamin E

Supplement Forms/Alternate Names

  • Tocopherol, tocopheryl succinate, mixed tocopherols

Introduction

Vitamin E is found in nuts, olive oil, and sunflower oil. The body uses vitamin E as an antioxidant to help fight damage to cells. Vitamin E can be taken as a pill and has been used to promote heart health. It has also been used to improve muscle and brain function.

Vitamin E can also be applied to the skin as an oil. It has been used to protect the skin from aging and damage from chemotherapy.

Dosages

400 milligrams 1 to 2 times daily

What Research Shows

Likely Effective

  • Age-related cataract prevention—likely to lower the risk A1, A2
  • Cervical cancer—likely to lower the risk of cervical cancer F1
  • Chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy—likely to prevent G1
  • Diabetes —likely to improve blood glucose, blood fat, and insulin levels J1-J3
  • Heart attack—likely to lower risk N1
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease—likely to improve liver function U1

May Be Effective

  • Diabetic kidney disease—may improve early kidney damage K1
  • Knee osteoarthritis—may improve pain and mobility P1
  • Macular degeneration —may slow disease progression R1, R2

May Not Be Effective

  • Eczema —may not provide benefit D1
  • Dysmenorrhea —may not ease symptoms L1
  • Female subfertility—may not provide benefit M1
  • Liver disease—may not provide benefit Q1
  • Mild cognitive impairment—may not lower the risk of getting dementia S1
  • Miscarriage—may not prevent miscarriage T1

Unlikely to Be Effective

Not Enough Data to Assess

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to use vitamin E on the skin and to take it orally in small doses for a short time. Doses higher than 1000 milligrams per day may not be safe. Not enough studies have been done to say whether it is safe to use for a long period. Women who are pregnant or breastfeeding should avoid high doses of vitamin E.

Interactions

Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.

References

REFA
Age-Related Cataracts

REFA1
Mathew MC, Ervin AM, et al. Antioxidant vitamin supplementation for preventing and slowing the progression of age-related cataract. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Jun 13;(6):CD004567.

REFA2
Zhang Y, Jiang W, et al. Vitamin E and risk of age-related cataract: a meta-analysis. Public Health Nutr. 2015 Oct;18(15):2804-2814.

REFB
Alzheimer Disease

REFB1
Farina N, Llewellyn D, et al. Vitamin E foe Alzheimer’s dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;1:CD002854.

REFC
Asthma

REFC1
Wilkinson M, Hart A, et al. Vitamins C and E for asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(6):CD010749.

REFC2
Wu H, Zhang C, et al. Does vitamin E prevent asthma or wheeze in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2018 Jun;27:60-68.

REFD
Atopic Eczema

REFD1
Bath-Hextall FJ, Jenkinson C, et al. Dietary supplements for established atopic eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;(2):CD005205.

REFE
Cardiovascular Disease

REFE1
Vivekananthan DP, Pann MS, et al. Use of antioxidant vitamins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of randomised trials. Lancet. 2003;361(8374):2017-2023.

REFE2
Shekelle PG, Morton SC, et al. Effect of supplemental vitamin E for the prevention and treatment of cardiovascular disease. J Gen Intern Med. 2004;19(4):380-389.

REFE3
Myung SK, Ju W, et al. Efficacy of vitamin and antioxidant supplements in prevention of cardiovascular disease: systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMJ. 2013 Jan 18;346:f10.

REFF
Cervical Cancer

REFF1
Hu X, Li S, et al. Effect of vitamin E supplementation on uterine cervical neoplasm: A meta-analysis of case-control studies. PLoS One. 2017 Aug 22;12(8):e0183395.

REFG
Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

REFG1
Eum S, Choi HD, et al. Protective effects of vitamin E on chemotherapy-induced peripheral neuropathy: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2013;83(2):101-111.

REFH
Cognitive Function

REFH1
Rutjes AW, Denton DA, et al. Vitamin and mineral supplementation for maintaining cognitive function in cognitively healthy people in mid and late life. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Dec 17;12:CD011906.

REFI
Cystic Fibrosis

REFI1
Okebukola PO, Kansra S, et al. Vitamin E supplementation in people with cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;3:CD009422.

REFJ
Diabetes

REFJ1
Suksomboon N, Poolsup N, et al. Effects of vitamin E supplementation on glycaemic control in type 2 diabetes: systematic review of randomized controlled trials. J Clin Pharm Ther. 2011 Feb;36(1):53-63.

REFJ2
Xu R, Zhang S, et al. Influence of vitamin E supplementation on glycaemic control: a meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. PLoS One. 2014;9(4):e95008.

REFJ3
Khodaeian M, Tabatabaei-Malazy O, et al. Effect of vitamins C and E on insulin resistance in diabetes: a meta-analysis study. Eur J Clin Invest. 2015 Nov;45(11):1161-1174.

REFK
Diabetic Kidney Disease

REFK1
Bolignano D, Cernaro V, et al. Antioxidant agents for delaying diabetic kidney disease progression: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017 Jun 1;12(6):e0178699.

REFL
Dysmenorrhea

REFL1
Pattanittum P, Kunyanone N, et al. Dietary supplements for dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Mar 22;3:CD002124.

REFM
Female Subfertility

REFM1
Showell MG, Mackenzie-Proctor R, et al. Antioxidants for female subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 28;7:CD007807.

REFN
Heart Attack

REFN1
Loffredo L, Perri L, et al. Supplementation with vitamin E is associated with reduced myocardial infraction: a meta-analysis. Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2015;25(4):354-363.

REFO
Helicobacter Pylori Infection

REFO1
Li G, Li L, et al. Effect of vitamins C and E supplementation on Helicobacter pylori eradication: a meta-analysis. Br J Nutr. 2011 Dec;106(11):1632-1637.

REFP
Knee Osteoarthritis

REFP1
Tantavisut S, Tanavalee A, et al. Effect of vitamin E on oxidative stress level in blood, synovial fluid, and synovial tissue in severe knee osteoarthritis: a randomized controlled study. BMC Musculoskelet Disord. 2017;18(1):281.

REFQ
Liver Disease

REFQ1
Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for liver diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Mar 16;(3):CD007749.

REFR
Macular Degeneration

REFR1
Evans JR, Lawrenson JG. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 30;7:CD000253.

REFR2
Evans JR, Lawrenson JG. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for slowing the progression of age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 31;7:CD000254.

REFS
Mild Cognitive Impairment

REFS1
McCleery J, Abraham RP, et al. Vitamin and mineral supplementation for preventing dementia or delaying cognitive decline in people with mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018 Nov 1;11:CD011905.

REFT
Miscarriage

REFT1
Balogun OO, da Silva Lopes K, et al. Vitamin supplementation for preventing miscarriage. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 May 6;(5):CD004073.

REFU
Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

REFU1
Sato K, Gosho M, et al. Vitamin E has a beneficial effect on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition. 2015;31(7-8):923-930.

REFV
Pre-eclampsia

REFV1
Conde-Agudelo A, Romero R, et al. Supplementation with vitamins C and E during pregnancy for the prevention of preeclampsia and other adverse maternal and perinatal outcomes: a systematic review and metaanalysis. Am J Obstet Gynecol. 2011 Jun;204(6):503.e1-12.

REFW
Pregnancy Support

REFW1
Rumbold A, Ota E, et al. Vitamin E supplementation in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(9):CD004069.

REFX
Stroke

REFX1
Bin Q, Hu X, et al. The role of vitamin E (tocopherol) supplementation in the prevention of stroke. A meta-analysis of 13 randomised controlled trials. Thromb Haemost. 2011 Apr;105(4):579-585.

REFY
Tardive Dyskinesia

REFY1
Soares-Weiser K, Maayan N, et al. Vitamin E for antipsychotic-induced tardive dyskinesia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;1:CD000209.

  • EBSCO NAT Review Board
  • 202206