Vitamin E has a beneficial effect on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Nutrition. Jul-Aug 2015;31(7-8):923-30. doi: 10.1016/j.nut.2014.11.018. Epub 2014 Dec 24.


Objectives: Vitamin E is often used in the treatment of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), including nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH); however, the magnitude of treatment response associated with vitamin E in improving liver function and histology in NAFLD/NASH has not, to our knowledge, been quantified systematically. Thus, we conducted a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials (RCTs) using vitamin E in the treatment of NAFLD/NASH.

Methods: PubMed, Medline, and Cochrane Library Full Text Database, and Japan Medical-Literature Database (Igaku Chuo Zasshi) were searched until March 2014, and five RCTs were identified for meta-analysis.

Results: According to a random effect model analysis of the five studies, vitamin E significantly reduced aspartate transaminase (AST) by -19.43 U/L, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) by -28.91 U/L, alkaline phosphatase (ALP) by -10.39 U/L, steatosis by -0.54 U/L, inflammation by -0.20 U/L, and hepatocellular ballooning by -0.34 U/L compared with the control group. Vitamin E treatment with NASH adult patients showed obvious reductions in not only AST of -13.91 U/L, ALT by -22.44 U/L, steatosis of -0.67 U/L, inflammation of -0.20 U/L, but also fibrosis of -0.30 U/L compared to the control treatment.

Conclusions: Vitamin E significantly improved liver function and histologic changes in patients with NAFLD/NASH.

Keywords: Meta-analysis; NAFLD; NASH; Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis; Vitamin E; α-Tocopherol.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis

MeSH terms

  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Antioxidants / therapeutic use
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases / blood
  • Fatty Liver / diet therapy
  • Fibrosis / diet therapy
  • Hepatocytes / drug effects*
  • Hepatocytes / pathology
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / diet therapy
  • Liver / drug effects*
  • Liver / enzymology
  • Liver / pathology
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / blood
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / diet therapy*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease / pathology
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamin E / therapeutic use*


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • Aspartate Aminotransferases
  • Alanine Transaminase
  • Alkaline Phosphatase