Vitamin E supplementation improves high-densitiy lipoprotein and endothelial functions in end-stage kidney disease patients undergoing hemodialysis

Clin Nephrol. 2018 Sep;90(3):212-221. doi: 10.5414/CN109197.


Background and aims: Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) undergoing hemodialysis (HD) have been shown to be at increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Decreased high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and impaired cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC) have been reported in such patients, and effects of vitamin E supplementation on HDL functions are poorly understood. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate effects of vitamin E supplementation on HDL and endothelial functions in ESKD patients undergoing HD. We also assessed the influence of diabetes and haptoglobin (Hp) phenotype on the effects of vitamin E.

Materials and methods: Vitamin E (300 mg daily) was supplemented for 12 weeks, followed by a 10-week washout phase in 40 ESKD patients undergoing HD (20 diabetic and 20 nondiabetic patients). HDL functions, including CEC, antioxidant capacity, and anti-inflammatory activity, were investigated. In diabetic patients, endothelial function, as represented by flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD), was also assessed. The findings were compared according to diabetic condition or Hp phenotype.

Results: Vitamin E significantly increased CEC, whereas antioxidant capacity and anti-inflammatory activity remained unchanged. Further, the improvement in CEC was maintained after the 10-week washout phase. Endothelial function was significantly improved in diabetic patients. Subanalyses based on diabetes or Hp phenotype revealed that neither diabetes nor Hp phenotype influenced the effects of vitamin E.

Conclusion: In ESKD patients undergoing hemodialysis, vitamin E supplementation significantly improved the HDL function of CEC and, in diabetic patients, endothelial function. These effects were independent of Hp phenotype. .

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology*
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Dyslipidemias / blood
  • Dyslipidemias / drug therapy*
  • Dyslipidemias / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / complications
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / physiopathology
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / therapy*
  • Lipoproteins, HDL / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Renal Dialysis*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Antioxidants
  • Lipoproteins, HDL
  • Vitamin E