Vitamin E supplementation and in vivo immune response in healthy elderly
subjects. A randomized controlled trial.
JAMA 1997 May 7;277(17):1380-6 (ISSN: 0098-7484)
Meydani SN; Meydani M; Blumberg JB; Leka LS; Siber G; Loszewski
R; Thompson C; Pedrosa MC; Diamond RD; Stollar BD Nutritional Immunology
Laboratory, Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at
Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA. SvMeydanivIM@HNRC.TUFTS.EDU.
OBJECTIVE: To determine whether long-term supplementation with vitamin
E enhances in vivo, clinically relevant measures of cell-mediated immunity
in healthy elderly subjects. DESIGN: Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled
intervention study. SETTING AND PARTICIPANTS: A total of 88 free-living,
healthy subjects at least 65 years of age. INTERVENTION: Subjects were
randomly assigned to a placebo group or to groups consuming 60, 200, or
800 mg/d of vitamin E for 235 days. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES: Delayed-type
hypersensitivity skin response (DTH); antibody response to hepatitis B,
tetanus and diphtheria, and pneumococcal vaccines; and autoantibodies
to DNA and thyroglobulin were assessed before and after supplementation.
RESULTS: Supplementation with vitamin E for 4 months improved certain
clinically relevant indexes of cell-mediated immunity in healthy elderly.
Subjects consuming 200 mg/d of vitamin E had a 65% increase in DTH and
a 6-fold increase in antibody titer to hepatitis B compared with placebo
(17% and 3-fold, respectively), 60-mg/d (41% and 3-fold, respectively),
and 800-mg/d (49% and 2.5-fold, respectively) groups. The 200-mg/d group
also had a significant increase in antibody titer to tetanus vaccine.
Subjects in the upper tertile of serum alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) concentration
(>48.4 micromol/L [2.08 mg/dL]) after supplementation had higher antibody
response to hepatitis B and DTH. Vitamin E supplementation had no effect
on antibody titer to diphtheria and did not affect immunoglobulin levels
or levels of T and B cells. No significant effect of vitamin E supplementation
on autoantibody levels was observed. CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate
that a level of vitamin E greater than currently recommended enhances
certain clinically relevant in vivo indexes of T-cell-mediated function
in healthy elderly persons. No adverse effects were observed with vitamin