Vitamin E - The Next 100 Years

IUBMB Life. 2019 Apr;71(4):411-415. doi: 10.1002/iub.1990. Epub 2018 Dec 14.


α-Tocopherol is the only tocopherol that has been shown to prevent the human deficiency disease Ataxia with Isolated Vitamin E Deficiency (AVED), and thus it is the only one that, for humans, can be called vitamin E. Vitamin E in addition to preventing AVED has documented immune boosting properties and an activity against nonalcoholic hepatosteatosis and low-grade inflammation. Epidemiological studies indicating that vitamin E could prevent cardiovascular events, neurodegenerative disease, macular degeneration, and cancer were in general not confirmed by clinical intervention studies. Vitamin E and some of its metabolites modulate cell signaling and gene transcription. Future research is needed to achieve a better understanding of the molecular events leading to gene regulation by vitamin E, especially in its phosphorylated form. Isolation and characterization of the vitamin E kinase and vitamin E phosphate phosphatase will help in the understanding of cell regulation processes modulated by vitamin E. A clarification of the pathogenesis of AVED remains an important goal to be achieved. © 2018 IUBMB Life, 71(4):411-415, 2019.

Keywords: gene expression; nonantioxidant functions; signal transduction; tocopherols; vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases / prevention & control
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology*
  • Vitamin E / physiology*
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / etiology*
  • Vitamin E Deficiency / prevention & control
  • alpha-Tocopherol / pharmacology


  • Antioxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • alpha-Tocopherol