Protective effect of vitamin E against ethanol-induced small intestine damage in rats

Biomed Pharmacother. 2016 Mar;78:150-155. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2016.01.015. Epub 2016 Jan 29.


The role of oxidative stress and inflammatory reaction has been reported in various ethanol-induced complications. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of ethanol-induced structural alteration, oxidative stress, and inflammatory reaction on the small intestine of rats, and plausible protective effect of vitamin E to determine whether it inhibits the abnormality induced by ethanol in the small intestine. Twenty-four male wistar rats were divided into three groups, namely: Control, ethanol, and vitamin E treated ethanol groups. After six weeks of treatment, the small intestine length, villus height, crypt depth and muscular layer thickness, oxidative stress, and inflammatory parameters showed significant changes in the ethanol treated group compared to the control group. Vitamin E consumption along with ethanol ameliorated structural alteration of the small intestine and reduced the elevated amount of oxidative stress and inflammatory markers such as protein carbonyl, OX-LDL, IL-6, Hcy, and TNF-α. Furthermore, their total antioxidant capacity was increased significantly compared to that of the ethanol group. These findings indicate that ethanol induces the small intestine abnormality by oxidative and inflammatory stress, and that these effects can be alleviated by using vitamin E as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory molecule.

Keywords: Ethanol; Oxidative stress; Rat; Small intestine; Vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cytokines / metabolism
  • Ethanol
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism
  • Intestine, Small / drug effects
  • Intestine, Small / pathology*
  • Male
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects
  • Protective Agents / pharmacology*
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*


  • Cytokines
  • Inflammation Mediators
  • Protective Agents
  • Vitamin E
  • Ethanol