Background: It is suggested that the lipophilic antioxidant alpha-tocopherol could be useful in the management of atopic dermatitis (DA).
Aim: The purpose of the study was to investigate vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) status in children with DA.
Material and methods: 25 children with DA and 18 healthy controls were enrolled in this study (age: 1-9 years). The concentrations of alpha-tocopherol in plasma and in erythrocytes were determined by high-performance liquid chromatography. t-Student test was used in analysis of results.
Results: There were no differences between mean plasma alpha-tocopherol content (19.44 +/- 4,61 mmol/l vs 18.74 +/- 3.38 mmol/l; p>0.05) and the ratio of alpha-tocopherol to total cholesterol in plasma (4.46 +/- 0.60 mmol/mmol vs 4.37 +/- 1,09 mmol/mmol; p>0.05) in patients and controls. Mean concentration of alpha-tocopherol in erythrocytes was significantly lower in children with DA (2.14 +/- 0.69 mmol/L) than in the control group (3.17 +/- 0.49 mmol/L, p<0.001).
Conclusion: In children with DA, the homeostasis of alpha-tocopherol is changed. Decreased erythrocyte levels of the vitamin are probably due to the limited tissue reserve. The role of vitamin E in the pathogenesis and prevention of DA needs further investigations.