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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Boston, Massachusetts » Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #363658

Research Project: Immunity, Inflammation, and Nutrition in Aging

Location: Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging

Title: Regulatory role of vitamin E in the immune system and inflammation

Author
item Lewis, Erin - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Meydani, Simin - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University
item Wu, Dayong - Jean Mayer Human Nutrition Research Center On Aging At Tufts University

Submitted to: International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life
Publication Type: Review Article
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/8/2018
Publication Date: 11/30/2018
Citation: Lewis, E.D., Meydani, S.N., Wu, D. 2018. Regulatory role of vitamin E in the immune system and inflammation. International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Life. 71(4). https://doi.org/10.1002/iub.1976.
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1002/iub.1976

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Vitamin E, a potent lipid-soluble antioxidant, is one of the most effective nutrients known to modulate immune function, which may be related to the fact that it is particularly more abundant in immune cells. Vitamin E deficiency has been demonstrated to impair normal functions of the immune system in animals and humans, which can be corrected by vitamin E repletion. Although vitamin E deficiency is rare, its supplementation above current dietary recommendations has been shown to enhance the function of the immune system and reduce risk of infection, particularly in the older individuals. The mechanisms responsible for the effect of vitamin E on the immune system and inflammation have been explored in cell-based, and animal and human interventional studies. Vitamin E modulates T cell function through directly impacting T cell membrane integrity, signal transduction, and cell division, and also indirectly, by affecting inflammatory mediators generated from other immune cells. Modulation of immune function by vitamin E has clinical relevance as it affects host susceptibility to infectious diseases such as respiratory infections, in addition to allergic diseases such as asthma. Studies examining the role of vitamin E on the immune system have typically focused on alpha-tocopherol, however emerging evidence suggests that other forms of vitamin E, including other tocopherols as well as tocotrienols, may also have potent immunomodulatory functions. Future research should continue identify and confirm the optimal doses for the individuals with different life stage, health condition, nutritional status, and genetic heterogeneity. Future research should also characterize the effects of non-tocopherol vitamin E in impacting immune cell function as well as their potential application.