Cosmeceutical Vitamins: Vitamin E

Published on 15/03/2015 by admin

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Last modified 15/03/2015

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Chapter 7 Cosmeceutical Vitamins: Vitamin E


After more than half a century of research there is still little convincing evidence of vitamin E’s effectiveness in treating specific dermatologic disorders. In trials and case reports, oral vitamin E supplementation is recommended in the therapy of yellow nail syndrome, vibration disease, epidermolysis bullosa, cancer prevention, claudication, cutaneous ulcers, collagen synthesis, and wound healing. Clearly, with vitamin E not being a pharmaceutical, there is a lack of placebo-controlled studies for treatment of these conditions. However, in the field of skin care, which includes cosmeceuticals, there is a large body of experimental evidence pointing to, in particular, photoprotective effects (for review, see Table 7.1). Moreover, recent studies indicate that vitamin E may reveal dermatologic benefits that exceed the purpose of cosmetics and may extend into an area that has recently been termed ‘cosmeceuticals’.

Recently, Tsoureli-Nikita et al performed a clinical single-blind, placebo-controlled study in which 96 atopic dermatitis patients were treated with either placebo or oral vitamin E (400 IU/day) for 8 months. They found an improvement and near remission of atopic dermatitis and a 62% decrease in serum IgE levels based on initial conditions in the vitamin E-treated group. The correlation between α-tocopherol intake, IgE levels, and the clinical manifestations of atopy indicates that oral vitamin E could be an excellent therapeutic adjunct for atopic dermatitis (Tsoureli-Nikita et al 2002). Other multi-clinical double-blinded studies revealed a significant improvement of chloasma and pigmented contact dermatitis lesions using topical vitamins E and C, with the combination clearly proving superior to the single vitamin treatment groups. Topical formulations used for depigmentation that contain, besides the commonly used hydroquinone and sunscreen, vitamins C and E, appear to be safe and efficient. Further research in well-designed controlled trials is needed to clarify the role of vitamin E and its derivates in the above-mentioned and further skin disorders.