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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

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

A Age-Related Cataracts

A1 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.

A2 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.

B Alzheimer Disease

B1 Farina N, Llewellyn D, et al. Vitamin E foe Alzheimer’s dementia and mild cognitive impairment. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;1:CD002854.

C Asthma

C1 Wilkinson M, Hart A, et al. Vitamins C and E for asthma and exercise-induced bronchoconstriction. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2014;(6):CD010749.

C2 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.

D Atopic Eczema

D1 Bath-Hextall FJ, Jenkinson C, et al. Dietary supplements for established atopic eczema. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2012 Feb 15;(2):CD005205.

E Cardiovascular Disease

E1 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.

E2 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.

E3 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.

F Cervical Cancer

F1 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.

G Chemotherapy-Induced Peripheral Neuropathy

G1 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.

H Cognitive Function

H1 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.

I Cystic Fibrosis

I1 Okebukola PO, Kansra S, et al. Vitamin E supplementation in people with cystic fibrosis. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017;3:CD009422.

J Diabetes

J1 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.

J2 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.

J3 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.

K Diabetic Kidney Disease

K1 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.

L Dysmenorrhea

L1 Pattanittum P, Kunyanone N, et al. Dietary supplements for dysmenorrhoea. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 Mar 22;3:CD002124.

M Female Subfertility

M1 Showell MG, Mackenzie-Proctor R, et al. Antioxidants for female subfertility. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 28;7:CD007807.

N Heart Attack

N1 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.

O Helicobacter Pylori Infection

O1 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.

P Knee Osteoarthritis

P1 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.

Q Liver Disease

Q1 Bjelakovic G, Gluud LL, et al. Antioxidant supplements for liver diseases. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2011 Mar 16;(3):CD007749.

R Macular Degeneration

R1 Evans JR, Lawrenson JG. Antioxidant vitamin and mineral supplements for preventing age-related macular degeneration. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2017 Jul 30;7:CD000253.

R2 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.

S Mild Cognitive Impairment

S1 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.

T Miscarriage

T1 Balogun OO, da Silva Lopes K, et al. Vitamin supplementation for preventing miscarriage. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2016 May 6;(5):CD004073.

U Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease

U1 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.

V Pre-eclampsia

V1 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.

W Pregnancy Support

W1 Rumbold A, Ota E, et al. Vitamin E supplementation in pregnancy. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(9):CD004069.

X Stroke

X1 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.

Y Tardive Dyskinesia

Y1 Soares-Weiser K, Maayan N, et al. Vitamin E for antipsychotic-induced tardive dyskinesia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2018;1:CD000209.

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
  • Review Date: 07/2019
  • Update Date: 03/27/2020