Vitamin E and immunity

Vitam Horm. 2011:86:179-215. doi: 10.1016/B978-0-12-386960-9.00008-3.


Vitamin E is the most important chain-breaking, lipid-soluble antioxidant present in body tissues of all cells and is considered the first line of defense against lipid peroxidation and it is important for normal function of the immune cells. However, vitamin E deficiency is rare in well-nourished healthy subjects and is not a problem, even among people living on relatively poor diets, both T- and B-cell functions are impaired by vitamin E deficiency. While immune cells are particularly enriched in vitamin E because of their high polyunsaturated fatty acid content, this point puts them at especially high risk for oxidative damage. Besides its immunomodulatory effects, vitamin E also plays an important role in carcinogenesis with its antioxidant properties against cancer, and ischemic heart disease with limiting the progression of atherosclerosis. Supplementation of vitamin E significantly enhances both cell mediated and humoral immune functions in humans, especially in the elderly and animals.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Humans
  • Immune System Diseases / diet therapy
  • Immune System Diseases / drug therapy
  • Immune System Diseases / etiology
  • Immunity* / drug effects
  • Immunomodulation / drug effects
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / physiology*
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / immunology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / physiopathology
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / therapy


  • Vitamin E