Positive Association of Vitamin E Supplementation with Hemoglobin Levels in Mildly Anemic Healthy Pakistani Adults

Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2015;85(1-2):39-49. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000222.


Background: Hemoglobin levels slightly below the lower limit of normal are common in adults in the general population in developing countries. A few human studies have suggested the use of antioxidant vitamins in the correction of mild anemia. The objective of the present study was to investigate the association of vitamin E supplementation in mildly anemic healthy adults with post-supplemental blood hemoglobin levels in the general population of Karachi, Pakistan.

Method: In a single-blinded and placebo-controlled randomized trial, 124 mildly anemic subjects from the General Practitioners' Clinics and personnel of the Aga Khan University were randomized into intervention (n = 82) and control (n = 42) group. In the intervention group, each subject was given vitamin E (400 mg) everyday for a period of three months, while control group subjects received a placebo. Eighty six subjects completed the trial. Fasting venous blood was collected at baseline and after three months of supplementation. Hemoglobin levels and serum/plasma concentrations of vitamin E, vitamin B12, folate, ferritin, serum transferrin receptor (sTfR), glucose, total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL-cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, creatinine, total-antioxidant-status and erythropoietin were measured and analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA and multiple linear regression.

Results: The adjusted regression coefficients (β) and standard error [SE(β)] of the significant predictors of post-supplemental hemoglobin levels were serum concentration of vitamin E (0.983[0.095]), gender (- 0.656[0.244]), sTfR (- 0.06[0.02]) and baseline hemoglobin levels (0.768[0.077]).

Conclusion: The study showed a positive association between vitamin E supplementation and enhanced hemoglobin levels in mildly anemic adults.

Trial registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02181348.

Keywords: Pakistani population; anemia; haemoglobin; randomized trial; vitamin E supplementation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / blood
  • Anemia / drug therapy*
  • Antioxidants / analysis
  • Blood Glucose
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Erythropoietin / blood
  • Female
  • Ferritins / blood
  • Folic Acid
  • Hemoglobins / analysis*
  • Humans
  • Lipids / blood
  • Male
  • Pakistan
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, Transferrin / blood
  • Sex Factors
  • Single-Blind Method
  • Vitamin B 12 / blood
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin E / blood


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Hemoglobins
  • Lipids
  • Placebos
  • Receptors, Transferrin
  • Erythropoietin
  • Vitamin E
  • Ferritins
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B 12

Associated data

  • ClinicalTrials.gov/NCT02181348