Vitamin E

Last revised by Dr Daniel J Bell on 02 Aug 2021

Vitamin E (the tocopherols) are a group of fat-soluble vitamins that act as antioxidants. Vitamin E are also hematinics.

  • hypovitaminosis E is rarely seen outside premature infants
  • hypervitaminosis E is extremely rare as the toxicity of vitamin E is low except in chronic (usually >1 year) high doses. The commonest sequela is disordered coagulation 2.

A synthetically-derived ester of α-tocopherol (vitamin E) called vitamin E acetate has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of vaping-associated lung injury/EVALI 3. Vitamin E acetate is commonly employed in over-the-counter topical consumer skin products, e.g. moisturizers, as a more stable form of vitamin E. After skin absorption it is converted into α-tocopherol, the natural form. However it is believed that when inhaled vitamin E acetate is toxic 3.

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