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.
400 milligrams 1 to 2 times daily
What Research Shows
May Be Effective
May Not Be Effective
Unlikely to Be Effective
Not Enough Data to Assess
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
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.
Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC
Last Updated: 3/27/2020
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