Vitamin E for Fatty Liver
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin naturally present in green leafy vegetables. It is packed with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties which help protect the body from chronic diseases. Several studies were conducted on the effects of vitamin E supplementation for the treatment of fatty liver.
Fatty liver disease is a condition occurring due to the accumulation of excessive fat in the liver. However, the research on vitamin E effects on the fatty liver has conflicting results.
This article details fatty liver disease and scientific studies on the effects of vitamin E on fatty liver.
What is Fatty Liver?
Fatty liver disease or non-alcoholic fatty liver disease occurs due to excessive accumulation of fats in the liver. In this type of disease, fat does not deposit due to alcohol consumption. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is categorized into two main types nonalcoholic fatty liver and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis.
Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver
Non-alcoholic fatty liver is a disease in which the liver has unnecessary fats. Inflammation of liver cells causes the enlargement of cells leading to liver damage. According to an estimate, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease affects 20% of the United States population. In most cases, people remain asymptomatic, and this disease damage liver cells.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is a disease affecting the liver in which abnormal fat accumulates in the liver and leads to liver damage due to the ballooning of liver cells.
Is Vitamin E Good for Fatty Liver?
Vitamin E is soluble in fats and is believed to be a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, reduces inflammation, and prevents cell death. Several studies are conducted to evaluate the effects of vitamin E on fatty liver.
It also protects the cell membrane from oxidative stress and prevents damage. It's difficult for researchers to reach a definitive conclusion regarding the efficacy of vitamin E for fatty liver. These conflicting results may occur because different methods are used in different studies and the quality of studies may vary.
What Does Research Say?
According to a 2018 review study, vitamin E supplementation is significantly associated with improved liver health. It also resulted in improving liver markers for people suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
After getting this result, researchers noted that various other studies had similar results showing improvement in the treatment of fatty liver.
In another study, individuals were instructed to consume vitamin E supplements and results found that it was helpful in improving liver health. Vitamin E supplementation also results in enhanced liver enzymes, reduced inflammation in the liver, improved liver fibrosis, and reduced body mass index.
These results were found in adults and more studies are needed to evaluate the effects of vitamin E in children.
A review study showed that increased consumption of vitamin E supplements results in improved liver health in individuals suffering from non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
Doctors often prescribe adopting some lifestyle changes that help treat fatty liver. These lifestyle changes may include exercise, dietary modifications like a low fat-low carb diet, and reduced calorie consumption.
It is found that people suffering from obesity and non-alcoholic fatty liver can reduce fat accumulation in the liver by reducing their body weight. Reduction of body weight may also result in relieving inflammation of the liver. It is believed that losing weight can be an effective treatment for liver diseases.
In addition to fatty liver disease, vitamin E supplements offer a wide range of health benefits due to their antioxidant and moisturizing abilities.
Improve Skin Health
Vitamin E is an important ingredient in various cosmetics products like moisturizers which help treat dry and flaking skin. Studies also revealed that vitamin E can fight allergic reactions and infections which can cause itching.
Eczema or atopic dermatitis is a common condition that results in skin itching and redness. Vitamin E is believed to provide temporary relief from eczema by moisturizing the skin.
Research showed that consumption of vitamin E supplements is greatly associated with a reduction in symptoms of psoriasis. It is an effective remedy for people suffering from mild psoriasis.
Stimulate Wound Healing
Vitamin E supplements moisturize skin and promote wound healing. It helps wounds get infected and accelerate the process of healing. However, more research is needed to evaluate the effects of vitamin E supplements on wound healing.
Prevent Skin Cancer
Studies revealed that vitamin E supplements can protect the skin from ultraviolet rays of the sun and lower the risk of developing cancer. Several studies were conducted on animal models and human research regarding cancer prevention activity of vitamin E is still lacking.
Reduce the Appearance of Scars
Vitamin E has traditionally been used as a supplement or topical application to treat or prevent the formation of scars. As far as scientific studies are concerned, they show inconclusive results.
A study showed that 33% of people experienced allergic reactions to topical application of vitamin E. A recent literature review revealed that topical application of vitamin E for scars shows inconclusive results.
Promote Hair and Nail Health
Vitamin E supplements help improve skin and nail health by moisturizing the skin around nails and preventing peeling and yellowing nails and cracked cuticles.
Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Raised cholesterol, high blood pressure, and fat deposition inside arteries increase the risk of heart disease. Studies found that consumption of vitamin E supplements lowers blood pressure and reduces LDL levels which prevent cardiovascular diseases.
May Relieve Dysmenorrhea
Research showed that vitamin E supplements help women suffering from dysmenorrhea- a condition characterized by menstrual cramps and painful menstruation.
A 2018 study showed that 100 individuals with dysmenorrhea were instructed to use 200IU of vitamin E combined with omega-3 supplements. Results revealed that these supplements had significant effects on dysmenorrhea.
Possible Risks or Side Effects
Vitamin E supplements offer a wide range of benefits to the body but too much vitamin E through supplement result in adverse effects.
Some people may experience allergic reactions like skin itching, redness, and irritation.
Research suggests that high consumption of vitamin E may increase the risk of prostate cancer and bleeding. They may affect people suffering from heart disease.
Vitamin E supplements may interact with some medications like vitamin K, anticoagulants, antiplatelet drugs and statin, and niacin.
Vitamin E supplements offer a broad spectrum of diseases including treating fatty liver disease, promoting skin health, reducing the risk of cancer, and accelerating wound healing. Overconsumption of these supplements may lead to some serious effects like prostate cancer, allergic skin reactions, and interaction with some medications.
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