- Vegetable oils
- Wheat germ oil
- To prevent allergies.
- Some people apply vitamin E to their skin to keep it from aging and to protect against the skin effects of chemicals used for cancer therapy (chemotherapy)
- 2- Vitamin E deficiency
- Oral vitamin E is effective for preventing and treating vitamin E deficiency.
- 3- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vitamin E may slow down the worsening of memory loss in people with moderately severe Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin E may also delay the loss of independence and the need for caregiver assistance in people with mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease.
- Vitamin E does not seem to prevent moving from mild memory problems to full-blown Alzheimer’s disease.
- 4- Anemia
- Vitamin E may improve the response to the drug erythropoietin, which affects red blood cell production, in adults and children on hemodialysis.
- 5- Beta-thalassemia
- Oral vitamin E may benefit children with the blood disorder called beta-thalessemia and vitamin E deficiency.
- Oral vitamin E, 200 IU daily for more than 10 years may prevent death from bladder cancer.
- 7- Leakage of chemotherapy drug into surrounding tissue
- Applying vitamin E to the skin together with dimethylsulfoxide (DMSO) seems to be effective for treating leakage of chemotherapy into surrounding tissues.
- 8- Chemotherapy-related nerve damage
- Oral vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) before and after treatment with cisplatin chemotherapy might reduce the risk of nerve damage.
- 9- Dementia
- Men who consume vitamin E and vitamin C may have a decreased risk of developing several forms dementia.
- Vitamin E does not appear to reduce the risk for Alzheimer’s dementia.
- 10- Painful menstruation (dysmenorrhea)
- Oral vitamin E for 2 days before and for 3 days after bleeding begins may decrease pain severity and duration, and reduce menstrual blood loss.
- 11- Movement and coordination disorder called dyspraxia
- Oral vitamin E together with evening primrose oil, thyme oil, and fish oils may improve movement disorders in children with dyspraxia.
- 12- Kidney problems in children (glomerulosclerosis)
- Oral vitamin E may improve kidney function in children with glomerulosclerosis.
- 13- An inherited disorder called G6PD deficiency
- Oral vitamin E alone or together with selenium, may benefit people with an inherited disorder called G6PD deficiency.
- 14- Healing a type of skin sore called granuloma annulare
- Topical vitamin E may clear up skin sores called granuloma annulare.
- 15- Huntington’s disease
- Natural vitamin E (RRR-alpha-tocopherol) can improve symptoms in people with early Huntington’s disease.
- Vitamin E may not help people with more advanced disease.
- 16- Male infertility
- Oral vitamin E may improve pregnancy rates for men with fertility problems.
- High doses of vitamin E together with vitamin C may not provide the same benefits.
- 17- Bleeding within the skull
- Oral vitamin E may be effective for treating bleeding in the skull in premature infants.
- 18- Bleeding within the ventricular system of the brain
- Oral vitamin E may be effective for treating bleeding within the ventricular system of the brain in premature infants.
- 19- Nitrate tolerance
- Oral vitamin E on daily basis may prevent nitrate tolerance.
- 20- Liver disease called nonalcoholic steatohepatitis
- Oral vitamin E on daily basis may improve symptoms of NASH in adults and children.
- 21- Parkinson’s disease
- Dietary vitamin E may be associated with a decreased risk of Parkinson’s disease.
- Taking all-rac-alpha-tocopherol (synthetic vitamin E) may not have any benefit for people with Parkinson’s disease.
- 22- Laser eye surgery (photoreactive keratectomy)
- High doses of vitamin A along with vitamin E (alpha-tocopheryl nicotinate) daily may improve healing and vision in people undergoing laser eye surgery.
- 23- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Oral vitamin E may reduce anxiety, craving, and depression in some women with PMS.
- 24- Physical performance
- Increasing vitamin E intake in the diet may improve physical performance and muscle strength in older people.
- 25- Fibrosis caused by radiation
- Oral vitamin E with the drug pentoxifylline may imptove fibrosis caused by radiation.
- Oral vitamin E alone may not be effective.
- 26- An eye disease in newborns called retrolental fibroplasia
- Oral vitamin E may be effective for treating an eye disease called retrolental fibroplasia in newborns.
- 27- Rheumatoid arthritis (RA)
- Oral vitamin E along with standard treatment is better than standard treatment alone for reducing pain in people with RA. However, this combination does not reduce swelling.
- 28- Sunburn
- High doses of oral vitamin E (RRR-alpha-tocopherol) together with vitamin C protects against skin inflammation after exposure to UV radiation.
- Oral vitamin E alone does not provide the same benefit.
- Applying vitamin E to the skin, together with vitamin C and melatonin, provides some protection when used before UV exposure.
- 29- Movement disorder (tardive dyskinesia)
- Oral vitamin E may improve symptoms associated with the movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia. However, some other research suggests that it does not improve symptoms, but may prevent symptoms from worsening.
- 30- Swelling in the middle layer of the eye (uveitis)
- Oral vitamin E with oral vitamin C may improve vision, but does not reduce swelling, in people with uveitis.
How does vitamin E work?
- Vitamin E is an important vitamin required for the proper function of many organs in the body.
- It is also an antioxidant which helps to slow down processes that damage cells.
- Vitamin E is may be for most healthy people when taken by mouth or applied to the skin.
- Most people do not experience any side effects when taking the recommended daily dose, which is 15mg.
- Vitamin E is may be unsafe if taken by mouth in high doses.
- If you have a condition such as heart disease or diabetes, do not take doses of 400 IU/day or more.
- Some research suggests that high doses might increase the chance of death and possibly cause other serious side effects.
- The higher the dose, the greater the risk of serious side effects.
- There is some concern that vitamin E might increase the chance of having a serious stroke called hemorrhagic stroke, which is bleeding into the brain.
- Some research shows that taking vitamin E in doses of 300-800 IU each day might increase the chance of this kind of stroke by 22%.
- However, in contrast, vitamin E might decrease the chance of having a less severe stroke called an ischemic stroke.
- There is contradictory information about the effect of vitamin E on the chance of developing prostate cancer.
- Some research suggests that taking large amounts of a multivitamin plus a separate vitamin E supplement might actually increase the chance of developing prostate cancer in some men.
- High doses can also cause nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, fatigue, weakness, headache, blurred vision, rash, and bruising and bleeding
Recommended Daily Dietary Allowances
Table 1: Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) for Vitamin E (Alpha-Tocopherol) 
Special precautions & warnings
- When used in the recommended daily amount, vitamin E may be for pregnant women.
- There has been some concern that taking vitamin E supplements might be harmful to the fetus when taken in early pregnancy.
- However, it is too soon to know if this is an important concern. Until more is known, do not take vitamin E supplements during early pregnancy without talking with your healthcare provider.
- Vitamin E may be when taken orally in recommended daily amounts during breast-feeding.
Infants and children
- The maximum amounts of vitamin E that are considered safe for children are based on age.
- Less than 200 mg daily is safe for children 1 to 3 years old.
- Less than 300 mg daily is safe for children 4 to 8 years old.
- Less than 600 mg daily is safe for children 9 to 13 years old.
- Less than 800 mg daily is safe for children ages 14 to 18 years old.
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) is may be unsafe when given intravenously (by IV) to premature infants in high doses.
Angioplasty (a heart procedure)
- Avoid taking supplements containing vitamin E or other antioxidant vitamins (beta-carotene, vitamin C) immediately before and following angioplasty without the supervision of a health care professional.
- These vitamins seem to interfere with proper healing.
- Vitamin E might increase the risk for heart failure in people with diabetes.
- People with diabetes should avoid high doses of vitamin E.
- Vitamin E might increase the risk for death in people with a history of heart attack.
- People with a history of heart attack should avoid high doses of vitamin E.
Low levels of vitamin K (vitamin K deficiency)
- Vitamin E might worsen clotting problems in people whose levels of vitamin K are too low.
Retinitis Pigmentosa (An eye condition)
- All-rac-alpha-tocopherol (synthetic vitamin E) 400 IU seems to speed vision loss in people with retinitis pigmentosa.
- However, much lower amounts (3 IU) do not seem to produce this effect.
- If you have this condition, it is best to avoid vitamin E.
- Vitamin E might make bleeding disorders worse.
- If you have a bleeding disorder, avoid taking vitamin E supplements.
Head and neck cancer
- Do not take vitamin E supplements in doses of 400 IU/day or more.
- Vitamin E might increase the chance that cancer will return.
- There is concern that taking vitamin E may increase the chance of developing prostate cancer.
- The effect of vitamin E in men who currently have prostate cancer is not clear.
- However, in theory, taking vitamin E supplements might worsen prostate cancer in men who already have it.
- Vitamin E may increase the risk for death in people with a history of stroke.
- People with a history of stroke should avoid high doses of vitamin E.
- Vitamin E may increase the risk of bleeding during and after surgery.
- Stop using vitamin E at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Interactions with medications
Moderate Vitamin E – Drug Interactions
Be cautious with this combination.
- Cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune)
- Taking large amounts of vitamin E along with cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) may increase how much cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune) absorption.
- By increasing cyclosporine absorbtion, vitamin E may increase the effects and side effects of cyclosporine (Neoral, Sandimmune).
- Medications changed by the liver (Cytochrome P450 3A4 (CYP3A4) substrates)
- Some medications are changed and broken down by the liver.
- Vitamin E may increase liver break down of some medications.
- Taking vitamin E along with some medications that are broken down by the liver may decrease the effectiveness of some medications.
- Before taking vitamin E, talk to your healthcare health care provider if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver.
- Examples of medications changed by the liver include lovastatin (Mevacor), ketoconazole (Nizoral), itraconazole (Sporanox), fexofenadine (Allegra), triazolam (Halcion), and many others.
- Medications for cancer (Chemotherapy)
- Vitamin E is an antioxidant.
- Antioxidants may decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for cancers.
- Medications that slow blood clotting (Anticoagulant / Antiplatelet drugs; Blood Thinners)
- Vitamin E may slow blood clotting.
- Taking vitamin E along with blood thinners may increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
- Blood thinners include aspirin, clopidogrel (Plavix), diclofenac (Voltaren, Cataflam, others), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others), naproxen (Anaprox, Naprosyn, Aleeve, others), dalteparin (Fragmin), enoxaparin (Lovenox), heparin, warfarin (Coumadin), and others.
- Medications used for lowering cholesterol (Statins)
- Taking vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and selenium together may decrease the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol.
- It is not known if taking vitamin E alone decreases the effectiveness of some medications used for lowering cholesterol.
- Some medications used for lowering cholesterol include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol), lovastatin (Mevacor), pravastatin (Pravachol) and simvastatin (Zocor).
- Taking vitamin E along with beta-carotene, vitamin C, and selenium may decrease some of the beneficial effects of niacin.
- Niacin can increase the good cholesterol.
- Taking vitamin E along with these other vitamins may decrease the good cholesterol.
- Warfarin (Coumadin)
- Warfarin (Coumadin) is used to slow blood clotting.
- Vitamin E can also slow blood clotting.
- Taking vitamin E along with warfarin (Coumadin) may increase the chances of bruising and bleeding.
- Be sure to have your blood checked regularly.
- The dose of your warfarin (Coumadin) may need to be changed.
Vitamin E interactions with herbs and supplements
- Vitamin E may reduce absorption of beta-carotene.
- The body needs beta-carotene to make vitamin A. Taking vitamin E 800 units daily seems to reduce blood levels of beta-carotene by 20%.
- Higher doses of vitamin E may reduce beta-carotene even more.
- Herbs and supplements that slow blood clotting
- Vitamin E slows blood clotting.
- Using vitamin E along with other herbs and supplements that slow blood clotting may increase the risk of bleeding in some people.
- These herbs include angelica, asafoetida, clove, danshen, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, Panax ginseng, horse chestnut, meadowsweet, poplar, quassia, red clover, willow, and others.
- Large doses of vitamin E (>10 units/kg/day) may slow the uptake of iron supplements in severely anemic infants.
- Avoid high doses of vitamin E in infants.
- It isn't known whether this interaction occurs in adults.
- Omega-6 fatty acids
- Taking omega-6 fatty acids, especially in high doses, may increase the amount of vitamin E that the body needs.
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E may affect how vitamin A acts in the body.
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E at 800 IU/day or more may decrease the effects of vitamin K.
- This may increase the risk of bleeding in people taking warfarin or other medicines that slow blood clotting.
- People with low vitamin K levels may be at especially high risk.
Vitamin E interactions with foods
- Fatty foods
- The body needs fat to be able to use vitamin E.
- However, it isn't necessary to increase dietary fat to make sure vitamin E can be used by the body.
Recommended Oral Doses
- Vitamin E deficiency
- Dose in adults is RRR-alpha tocopherol (natural vitamin E) 60-75 IU per day.
- 2- Tardive dyskinesia (movement disorder)
- RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) 1600 IU daily.
- 3- Male fertility improvement
- Vitamin E 200-600 IU daily.
- 4- Alzheimer’s disease
- Vitamin E 2000 IU daily.
- Combination therapy of donepezil (Aricept) 5 mg and vitamin E 1000 IU per day may slow memory decline in people with Alzheimer’s disease.
- 5- Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (liver disease)
- Vitamin E 800 IU daily for adults
- Vitamin E 400-1200 IU for children.
- 6- Early Huntington’s chorea
- RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) 3000 IU.
- 7- Rheumatoid arthritis pain
- Vitamin E 600 IU twice daily.
- 8- For preventing nerve damage caused by cisplatin
- Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 300 mg daily with each chemotherapy treatment and for up to 3 months after stopping cisplatin therapy.
- 9- For improving effectiveness of nitrates used for heart disease
- Vitamin E 200 mg three times daily.
- 10- To reduce protein in the urine of children with a kidney disease called focal segmental glomerulosclerosis
- Vitamin E 200 IU.
- 11- G6PD deficiency
- Vitamin E 800 IU daily.
- 12- Premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) 400 IU daily.
- 13- Painful menstrual periods
- Vitamin E 200 IU twice or 500 IU daily starting 2 days before the menstrual period and continuing through the first 3 days of bleeding.
- 14- Healing the eyes after a surgery called keratectomy
- 230 mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopheryl nicotinate) and vitamin A (retinol palmitate) 25,000 units may be used 3 times daily for 30 days, followed by twice daily for 2 months.
- 15- Fibrosis caused by radiation
- Vitamin E 1000 IU daily in combination with pentoxifylline 800 mg.
- 16- Beta-thalassemia
- Vitamin E 750 IU daily.
- 17- Preventing sunburn
- RRR-alpha-tocopherol (natural vitamin E) 1000 IU in combination with 2 grams of ascorbic acid.
- 18- Preventing high blood pressure during pregnancy (pre-eclampsia) in high risk women
- Vitamin E 400 IU with vitamin C 1000 mg daily.
Other Names of Vitamin E