Vitamin E for Helping to Manage Inflammation

By Jen Morganti, ND

C-reactive protein (CRP), a protein produced by the liver, can be measured in a blood test. High levels indicate non-specified chronic inflammation which may be related to conditions such as heart disease, infection, neurodegenerative diseases (such as Alzheimer's), arthritis, or heart disease. It can also be caused by a poor diet high in sugar, smoking, stress, or other lifestyle issues. High CRP and inflammation do not generally have clinical symptoms. Despite it being a vague indicator, elevated CRP suggests one should investigate options that might lower inflammation to improve overall health.

Vitamin E is one of the many natural supplements that can help lower inflammation. Recently, a review of all relevant vitamin-E studies was conducted to determine if there was consensus on the vitamin's role in lowering CRP. Of the thousands of vitamin-E studies, only a dozen met the qualifications to fit into this metaanalysis. All included research were randomized, controlled studies that evaluated the effect of alpha and gamma tocopherol supplementation on CRP levels. When all the data from the 12 studies was pooled, it was determined that taking vitamin E in the form of alpha or gamma tocopherol did demonstrate a significant role in lowering CRP levels.

Vitamin E is an excellent addition for a clinical protocol focused on decreasing inflammation, especially when combined with proper lifestyle recommendations, dietary adjustments, and other antiinflammatory supplements such as curcumin, magnesium, vitamin D, and fish oil.


European Journal of Clinical Nutrition advance online publication 11 February 2015; doi: 10.1038/ejcn.2014.296