The Role of Vitamin E in Thermal Burn Injuries, Infection, and Sepsis: A Review

Marc A Thompson, Kameel Zuniga, Linda Sousse, Robert Christy, Jennifer Gurney

J Burn Care Res . 2022 Jul 21;irac100. doi: 10.1093/jbcr/irac100. Online ahead of print


Thermal burn injuries are still a serious public health concern in the United States, due to the initial insult and resulting co-morbidities. Burned patients are increasingly susceptible to colonization by endogenous and exogenous micro-organisms after having lost skin, which acts as the primary protective barrier to environmental contaminants. Furthermore, the onset of additional pathophysiologies, specifically sepsis, becomes more likely in burned patients compared to other injuries. Despite improvements in the early care of burn patients, infections, and sepsis, these pathophysiologies remain major causes of morbidity and mortality and warrant further investigation of potential therapies. Vitamin E may be one such therapy. We aimed to identify publications of studies that evaluated the effectiveness of vitamin E as it pertains to thermal burn injuries, infection, and sepsis. Several investigations ranging from in vitro bench work to clinical studies have examined the impact on, or influence of, vitamin E in vitro, in vivo, and in the clinical setting. To the benefit of subjects it has been shown that enteral or parenteral vitamin E supplementation can prevent, mitigate, and even reverse the effects of thermal burn injuries, infection, and sepsis. Therefore, a large scale prospective observational study to assess the potential benefits of vitamin E supplementation in patients is warranted and could result in clinical care practice paradigm changes.

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Therapeutic effects of intranasal tocotrienol-rich fraction on rhinitis symptoms in platelet-activating factor induced allergic rhinitis

Cheryl Wei Ling Teo, Stephanie Jia Ying Png, Yee Wei Ung, Wei Ney Yap

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol . 2022 Jun 13;18(1):52


Background: Platelet-activating factor (PAF) has been suggested to be a potent inflammatory mediator in Allergic rhinitis (AR) pathogenesis. Vitamin E, an essential nutrient that comprises tocopherol and tocotrienol, is known as a potential therapeutic agent for airway allergic inflammation. This study aimed to investigate the beneficial effects of intranasal Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on PAF-induced AR in a rat model.

Methods: Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned into 3 groups: Control, PAF-induced AR and PAF-induced AR with TRF treatment. To induce AR, 50 μl of 16 μg/ml PAF was nasally instilled into each nostril. From day 1 to 7 after AR induction, 10 μl of 16 μg/μl TRF was delivered intranasally to the TRF treatment group. Complete upper skulls were collected for histopathological evaluation on day 8.

Results: The average severity scores of AR were significantly higher in the PAF-induced AR rats compared to both control and PAF-induced AR with TRF treatment. The histologic examination of the nasal structures showed moderate degree of inflammation and polymorphonuclear cells infiltration in the lamina propria, mucosa damage and vascular congestion in the PAF-induced AR rats. TRF was able to ameliorate the AR symptoms by restoring the nasal structures back to normal. H&E staining demonstrated a statistically significant benefit upon TRF treatment, where minimal degree of inflammation, and a reduction in the infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells, mucosa damage and vascular congestion were observed.

Conclusion: TRF exhibited symptomatic relief action in AR potentially due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.

Therapeutic potential of palm oil vitamin E-derived tocotrienols in inflammation and chronic diseases: Evidence from preclinical and clinical studies

Zaida Zainal, Huzwah Khaza'ai, Ammu Kutty Radhakrishnan, Sui Kiat Chang

Food Res Int . 2022 Jun;156:111175. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2022.111175. Epub 2022 Mar 21


Palm oil is rich in tocotrienols (T3s), a type of vitamin E that has garnered considerable research interest as it exhibits anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant characteristics that are comparable to or exceed those of tocopherols (Toc). Notably, T3 must be consumed as it cannot be produced by the human body. Here, we reviewed the anti-inflammatory activities of T3s in the prevention and treatment of various inflammatory disorders; focusing on recent preclinical and clinical studies. There is compelling data from experimental models and human studies that shows that T3 administration can inhibit the release of various inflammatory mediators that contribute to age-related disease by enhancing oxidative stress, reducing melanin production and skin damage, and preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke. There is evidence to show that T3s possess neuroprotective, anticancer, and anti-osteoporosis properties. In addition, T3s also protect the gastrointestinal tract, facilitate blood glucose control in people with diabetes, and prevent fatty liver disease. Furthermore, results from some clinical studies suggest that T3s are beneficial nutritional supplements with no evident side-effects when administered to patients with neurological or cardiovascular disorders. There is growing evidence from clinical trials that shows that T3s can help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. More well-designed clinical trials, as well as human intervention studies, are required to confirm the health benefits of palm T3.

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Vitamin E reduces inflammation and improves cognitive disorder and vascular endothelial functions in patients with leukoaraiosis

Yan Wang, Guoce Li, Jianping Lv, Yingwen Zhou, Hongxia Ma

Int J Neurosci . 2022 Jun 2;1-9. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2022.2079505. Online ahead of print.


Background: Leukoaraiosis (LA) is a disease manifested by demyelination and gliosis in white matter, mainly caused by cerebrovascular diseases. LA is closely related to the expression level of inflammatory factors, oxidative stress, and vascular endothelial dysfunction in patients. Vitamin E may play antioxidant and anti-inflammatory roles in various diseases. We aimed to explore the effects of vitamin E on the patients with LA.

Methods: A total of 160 patients with LA were recruited in this research. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), MMP-2, C-reactive protein (CRP), complement 3 (C3), C4, nitric oxide (NO), and endothelin (ET) levels were evaluated by ELISA. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used for cognitive impairment assessment. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were analyzed by commercial kits.

Results: The levels of CRP, C3, and C4 significantly decreased in the serum of LA patients after the administration of vitamin E. The levels of MMP-2 and MPP-9 showed a significant decrease in the administered group. Vitamin E significantly inhibited the expression of MDA, while significantly upregulated the expression of SOD. Significant increase in NO production and significant downregulation of ET expression occurred in vitamin E groups. MMSE score was significantly increased by vitamin E.

Conclusion: In conclusion, vitamin E showed effects on the alleviation of inflammatory response, oxidative stress, endothelial damage, and cognitive dysfunction. Thus, vitamin E could be a potential drug for the clinical treatment of LA patients.

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Antioxidant effects of vitamin E and risk of cardiovascular disease in women with obesity – A narrative review

Anna Maria Rychter, Szymon Hryhorowicz, Ryszard Słomski, Agnieszka Dobrowolska, Iwona Krela-Kaźmierczak

Clin Nutr . 2022 May 6;41(7):1557-1565. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2022.04.032. Online ahead of print.


Proper dietary habits are a vital element of cardiovascular (CV) treatment, and – according to the current guidelines – a diet rich in antioxidants is generally recommended. It remains, however, inconclusive whether antioxidant nutrients should be supplemented for CV health, and if so, in which form and dosage. Currently available data suggest that vitamin E may be essential in preventing CVD, especially in coronary heart disease and atherosclerosis – nevertheless, vitamin E supplementation may be questionable and may even be associated with adverse outcomes. Further, current studies highlight a strong need for identifying sex-specific strategies, which could improve guidelines for both the prevention and management of cardiovascular disease (CVD). It should also be emphasized that understanding the role of genetic variants in genes involved in VE metabolism may also be crucial for more precise nutritional recommendations for patients suffering from CVD. Therefore, we summarize the current knowledge regarding vitamin E antioxidant properties, which could be essential from CV perspective, and aim to assess whether vitamin E supplementation can be beneficial in CV prevention, especially in the high-risk group of women with obesity.

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Can Low-Dose of Dietary Vitamin E Supplementation Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Oxidative Stress? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

Myunghee Kim, Hyeyoon Eo, Josephine Gahyun Lim, Hyunjung Lim, Yunsook Lim

Nutrients . 2022 Apr 12;14(8):1599. doi: 10.3390/nu14081599.


Vitamin E plays an important role in attenuating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Despites of beneficial effects from antioxidant supplementation, effects of antioxidants on exercise-induced muscle damage are still unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effects of dietary vitamin E supplementation on exercise-induced muscle damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The literature search was conducted through PubMed, Medline, Science Direct, Scopus, SPORTDiscuss, EBSCO, Google Scholar database up to February 2022. A total of 44 RCTs were selected, quality was assessed according to the Cochrane collaboration risk of bias tool (CCRBT), and they were analyzed by Revman 5.3. Dietary vitamin E supplementation had a protective effect on muscle damage represented by creatine kinase (CK; SMD -1.00, 95% CI: -1.95, -0.06) and lactate dehydrogenase (SMD -1.80, 95% CI: -3.21, -0.39). Muscle damage was more reduced when CK was measured immediately after exercise (SMD -1.89, 95% CI: -3.39, -0.39) and subjects were athletes (SMD -5.15, 95% CI: -9.92, -0.39). Especially vitamin E supplementation lower than 500 IU had more beneficial effects on exercise-induced muscle damage as measured by CK (SMD -1.94, 95% CI: -2.99, -0.89). In conclusion, dietary vitamin E supplementation lower than 500 IU could prevent exercise-induced muscle damage and had greater impact on athletes.

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Effect of vitamin E supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors, inflammatory and oxidative markers and hormonal functions in PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome): a systematic review and meta-analysis

Ghazale Tefagh, Moloud Payab, Mostafa Qorbani, Farshad Sharifi, Yasaman Sharifi, Mahbubeh Sadat Ebrahimnegad Shirvani, Farzad Pourghazi, Rasha Atlasi, Zhaleh Shadman, Nafiseh Rezaei, Erfan Mohammadi-Vajari, Bagher Larijani, Mahbube Ebrahimpur

Sci Rep . 2022 Apr 6;12(1):5770. doi: 10.1038/s41598-022-09082-3.


Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) is a common endocrinopathy among reproductive-age women. Various therapeutical approaches are currently used to manage or control symptoms associated with PCOS. This systematic review intended to assess the effects of Vit E supplementation on cardiometabolic risk factors, inflammatory and oxidative markers, and hormonal functions in PCOS women based on the clinical trial’s results. The databases including PubMed, Scopus, Cochrane, Web of Science, and Embase were used to find all relevant studies. The authors reviewed all relevant clinical trials via systematic evaluation of abstracts and titles. Searches were conducted on August 1, 2020. After the initial search and reading of the article’s title and abstract, 353 articles were reviewed; finally, 12 articles met the inclusion criteria. Vitamin E supplementation improves lipid profile, decreases insulin and HOMA-IR levels. Furthermore, while Vitamin E supplementation decreases LH and testosterone concentrations, it increases FSH and progestrone concentrations. The following meta-analysis showed that vitamin E supplementation made statistically significant improvements in triglyceride (TG) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) levels, meanwhile, pooled mean difference for waist circumference (WC) and HOMA-IR were also statistically significant. Supplementary regimens containing vitamin E can positively affect metabolic and hormonal parameters in women with PCOS.

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Fat Grafts Augmented With Vitamin E Improve Volume Retention and Radiation-Induced Fibrosis

Darren B Abbas, Christopher V Lavin, Evan J Fahy, Michelle Griffin, Nicholas J Guardino, Rahim S Nazerali, Dung H Nguyen, Arash Momeni, Michael T Longaker, Derrick C Wan

Aesthet Surg J . 2022 Mar 29;sjac066. doi: 10.1093/asj/sjac066. Online ahead of print.


Background: Treatments for radiation-induced fibrosis range from vitamin E and pentoxifylline systemically to deferoxamine and fat grafting locally. Regarding fat grafting, volume retention hinders its long-term functionality and is affected by two factors: inflammation and necrosis secondary to hypovascularity.

Objective: We aimed to simultaneously improve fat graft retention and radiation-induced fibrosis by integrating vitamin E and pentoxifylline into fat grafts locally.

Methods: Forty adult CD-1 nude male mice at 6 weeks of age underwent scalp irradiation and recovered for four weeks to allow for the development of fibrosis. Mice received 200μL of donor human fat graft to the scalp. Mice were separated into 4 conditions: no grafting, fat graft without treatment, graft treated with pentoxifylline, and graft treated with vitamin E. Fat graft volume retention was monitored in-vivo using microCT scans at weeks 0, 1, 2, 4, 6, and 8 after grafting. Histological and cytokine analysis of the scalp skin and fat grafts were also performed.

Results: Vitamin E (VE) treated grafts had significant improvement in dermal thickness and collagen density of overlying skin compared to all other groups. VE decreased 8-isoprostane and increased CD31 + staining compared to the other grafted groups. Cytokine analysis revealed decreased inflammatory and increased angiogenic markers in both the fat graft and overlying skin of the vitamin E group. Fat graft volume retention was significantly improved in the vitamin E group starting at 1 week post grafting.

Conclusion: Radiation-induced fibrosis and fat graft volume retention are both simultaneously improved with local administration of vitamin E.

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Effect of tocotrienol on the primary progression of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in a mouse model

Jun Noichi, Tomoko Ishiakawa, Ikuyo Ichi, Yoko Fujiwara

J Clin Biochem Nutr . 2022 Mar;70(2):140-146. doi: 10.3164/jcbn.21-69. Epub 2021 Oct 2.


Tocotrienol (T3), a vitamin E (Vit E) isoform, is known to have both biological and antioxidant effects. Although alpha-tocopherol (α-Toc), another isoform of Vit E is suggested to be a useful treatment against nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), the effect of T3 on NASH is unclear. This study aimed to comparatively evaluate the effects of T3 and α-Toc on NASH in the early stage of NASH progression, using a recently established NASH mouse model induced by a choline-deficient l-amino acid-defined high-fat diet (CDAHFD). Six-week-old male mice were divided into four groups (n = 6 per group) and fed the CDAHFD for 1 week. The first group was given no other treatment (Pre). The other three groups continued the CDAHFD plus daily oral administration of Vit E-free corn oil (Control), corn oil containing α-Toc, or corn oil containing T3 for additional 2 weeks. Neither Vit E treatment changed the histologic features of NASH, but T3 significantly reduced the mRNA expression of several genes related to inflammation and fibrosis and α-Toc did not. These results suggested that oral T3 treatment was more effective than α-Toc at suppressing hepatic inflammation and fibrosis in the early stage of NASH progression in CDAHFD model mice.

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