Vitamin E ingestion improves several immune functions in elderly men and women

Free Radic Res. 2008 Mar;42(3):272-80. doi: 10.1080/10715760801898838.


The effects of diet supplementation with the antioxidant vitamin E (200 mg daily) on several blood neutrophil, lymphocyte and natural killer cell functions have been investigated in healthy elderly men and women before supplementation, after 3 months of supplementation and 6 months after the end of supplementation (post-supplementation). In parallel, samples of healthy adult men and women were used as age controls. In elderly men and women, an impairment of immune functions was observed in comparison with the respective adult controls and the intake of vitamin E resulted in a significant enhancement of immune parameters in both elderly men and women, bringing their values close to those in the adults. These effects were not found in post-supplementation samples in several but not in all functions. The present findings suggest that supplementation with vitamin E can produce an improvement of immune functions and therefore of health in aged people.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / metabolism*
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chemotaxis
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immune System
  • Interleukin-2 / metabolism
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Sex Factors
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Interleukin-2
  • Vitamin E