Vitamin E Supplementation Reduces Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Oxidative Stress
June 26th, 2023 – New York, USA. Worldwide interest in physical activity is growing as more people become aware of the health benefits associated with exercise. There are several molecules and signaling cascades involved in muscle health including the enzymatic antioxidants which increase resistance to fatigue, reduce oxidative stress, and ultimately enhance whole body health. Vitamin E supplements are highly regarded because they can reduce inflammation and oxidative stress brought on by exercise by preventing lipid peroxidation.
A team of Korean researchers published a Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials (RCTs) that suggested low dosages of dietary vitamin E supplementation may significantly reduce the oxidative stress and muscle damage brought on by exercise1. In this article, 17 RCTs were chosen among 44 studies with comparable markers, measurement frequencies, and valid exercise protocols. The investigations assessed biomarkers such as creatine kinase (CK), lactate dehydrogenase (LDH), malondialdehydes (MDA), total antioxidant status (TAS) and interleukin-6 (IL-6).
Dietary vitamin E supplementation’s impact on exercise-induced muscle damage was investigated using CK and LDH concentrations. They discovered that vitamin E supplementation had a significant impact on muscle damage immediately after exercise. Furthermore, low dosages of vitamin E supplementation (500 IU daily) exhibited a protective impact against muscle damage, whereas high doses (>500 IU daily) had no such effect. Additionally, vitamin E supplementation had a positive effect on athletes’ CK concentrations while having no positive impact on non-athlete participants.
While this meta-analysis showed that vitamin E supplements had no protective effects on MDA in terms of the results of oxidative stress, either right away after exercise or 24 and 48 hours later, pre- and post-exercise TAS concentrations were higher in the vitamin E supplemented group than in the placebo group, but TAS levels were more significantly reduced after exercise in the vitamin E supplemented group. The researchers concluded that vitamin E supplementation increased the antioxidant capacity before exercise and inhibited free radical production during exercise.
This meta-analysis shows that dietary vitamin E supplementation especially at dosage < 500IU significantly reduced biomarkers related to exercise-induced muscle damage and oxidative stress.
“Vitamin E is made up of two broad members – tocopherols and tocotrienols. Tocotrienols have also been shown to improve endurance capacity as indicated by a longer duration of swimming and reduce exercise-induced oxidative stress2. As such, vitamin E supplementation has demonstrated potential in mitigating exercise-induced muscle damage. By scavenging free radicals and reducing lipid peroxidation, full spectrum vitamin E (d-mixed tocopherols + d-mixed tocotrienols) may help minimize oxidative damage to muscle tissues. This effect is particularly relevant for endurance athletes who engage in prolonged, strenuous and repetitive exercise, as they are more prone to muscle damage caused by oxidative stress,” said Dr. Ariati Aris, Scientific Affairs Specialist at PhytoGaia.
“Currently, we are collaborating with researchers from the University of Malaya in a human clinical trial to evaluate the potential role of tocotrienols in reducing exercise-induced muscle damage and improving sport endurance,” added Dr. Ariati Aris.
“The lesser-known tocotrienols are considered the most potent form of vitamin E when it comes to their antioxidant potency. Incorporating tocotrienols and tocopherols (“E Complete”) into a sport nutritional formula is an excellent choice to boost up one’s antioxidant capacity before or after exercise as well as reducing muscle damage caused by oxidative stress,” commented Mr. Bryan See, Vice President of PhytoGaia.
- Kim, M. et al. Can Low-Dose of Dietary Vitamin E Supplementation Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Oxidative Stress? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients. 2022 Apr 12;14(8):1599.
- Lee, SP. et al. Effects of tocotrienol-rich fraction on exercise endurance capacity and oxidative stress in forced swimming rats. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Nov;107(5):587-95.