Objective: We sought to determine whether supplementation of vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol), selenium (L-selenomethionine), or their combination improves arsenical skin lesions.
Methods: A 2 x 2 randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial among 121 men and women chronically exposed to arsenic in drinking water was conducted in rural Bangladesh. Participants were randomized to one of four treatment arms: vitamin E, selenium, vitamin E and selenium (combination), or placebo and were treated for 6 months.
Results: At baseline, the average skin lesion scores were 2.23, 2.26, and 2.63 and at follow-up, the average skin lesion scores went down to 2.00, 2.06, and 2.47 in those receiving vitamin E, selenium, and the combination, respectively.
Conclusions: Supplementation with vitamin E and selenium, either alone or in combination, slightly improved skin lesion status, although the improvement was not statistically significant.