Evaluation of an oral supplement containing Phyllanthus emblica fruit extracts, vitamin E, and carotenoids in vitiligo treatment

Dermatol Ther. 2015 Jan-Feb;28(1):17-21. doi: 10.1111/dth.12172. Epub 2014 Oct 6.


Phyllanthus emblica, vitamin E, and caroteinods are compounds showing antioxidative, anti-inflammatory, and repigmenting effects, whose role in vitiligo treatment has not been evaluated so far. Sixty-five subjects (group A) were treated with one tablet of an oral supplement containing P. emblica (100 mg), vitamin E (10 mg), and carotenoids (4.7 mg) three times/day for 6 months and compared with a control group (group B, 65 patients), which instead was not treated with antioxidants. Both groups were simultaneously treated with a comparable topical therapy and/or phototherapy. After a 6 months follow-up, a significantly higher number of patients in group A had a mild repigmentation on the head/neck regions (p = 0.019) and on the trunk (trend, p = 0.051). The number of patients who presented no repigmentation in head/neck, trunk, upper, and lower limbs was significantly higher in group B (respectively, p = 0.009, p = 0.001, p = 0.001, p = 0.025). Moreover, group B patients showed higher signs of inflammation (p = 0.002), a more rapid growth of the lesions (p = 0.039), a higher percentage of worsening disease (p = 0.003), and more erythema (p = 0.059), whereas group A patients showed a higher percentage of steady disease (p = 0.065). Our results suggest that the supplement with antioxidants in patients with vitiligo might represent a valuable instrument to increase the effectiveness of other vitiligo treatments. [Correction added after online publication 06-Oct-2014: the dosages of vitamin E and carotenoids have been updated.].

Keywords: antioxidants; vitiligo.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Cutaneous
  • Administration, Oral
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antioxidants / administration & dosage
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use*
  • Carotenoids / administration & dosage
  • Carotenoids / therapeutic use
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Drug Combinations
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Fruit
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Phototherapy / methods*
  • Phyllanthus emblica / chemistry
  • Skin Pigmentation / drug effects*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use
  • Vitiligo / pathology
  • Vitiligo / therapy*
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Drug Combinations
  • Vitamin E
  • Carotenoids