Purpose. This paper explores the effects of vitamin E on bone structural changes.
Methods. A systematic review of the literature was conducted to identify relevant studies about vitamin E and osteoporosis/bone structural changes. A comprehensive search in Medline and CINAHL for relevant studies published between the years 1946 and 2012 was conducted. The main inclusion criteria were published in English, studies had to report the association or effect of vitamin E and osteoporosis-related bone changes, and the osteoporosis-related bone changes should be related to lifestyle variables, aging, or experimentally-induced conditions.
Results. The literature search identified 561 potentially relevant articles, whereby 11 studies met the inclusion criteria. There were three human epidemiological studies and eight animal experimental studies included in this paper. Four animal studies reported positive bone structural changes with vitamin E supplementation. The rest of the studies had negative changes or no effect. Studies with positive changes reported better effects with tocotrienol vitamin E isomer supplementation.
Conclusions. This evidence-based review underscores the potential of vitamin E being used for osteoporosis. The effect of one of the vitamin E isomers, tocotrienols, on bone structural changes warrants further exploration. Controlled human observational studies should be conducted to provide stronger evidence.