Vitamin E (α-tocopherol) consumption influences gut microbiota composition

Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2020 Mar;71(2):221-225. doi: 10.1080/09637486.2019.1639637. Epub 2019 Jul 12.


This study evaluated if vitamin E consumption affects gut microbiota. Mice were grouped into control, low vitamin E (LV), and high vitamin E (HV). LV and HV were fed DL-α-tocopherol at 0.06 mg/20 g and 0.18 mg/20 g of body weight per day, respectively, for 34 days. Body weight of mice was measured before and after vitamin E treatment. Animals were sacrificed, liver, spleen, small intestine and large intestine collected, and weight and length were measured. Composition of gut microbiota was determined by microbiome analysis. Spleen weight index of LV was the highest. However, liver weight indices and intestinal lengths were not different. Body weights of LV group were higher than those of control. Ratio of Firmicutes to Bacteroidetes was different in LV compared to control and HV. These results indicate that low-level consumption of vitamin E increases spleen and body weight, and changes gut microbiota.

Keywords: Gut microbiome; vitamin E; α-tocopherol.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Gastrointestinal Microbiome / drug effects*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Vitamin E / administration & dosage*
  • Vitamin E / pharmacology


  • Vitamin E