Vitamin E: Regulatory Redox Interactions

Taiki Miyazawa, Gregor C. Burdeos, Mayuko Itaya, Kiyotaka Nakagawa, Teruo Miyazawa

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

150 Citations (Scopus)


Vitamin E is an essential nutrient that was discovered in the 1920s. Many of the physiological functions of vitamin E, including its antioxidative effects, have been studied for nearly 100 years. Changes in redox balance induced by both endogenously and exogenously generated reactive oxygen species (ROS) are involved in various diseases, and are also a phenomenon that is considered essential for survival. Vitamin E is known to regulate redox balance in the body due to its high concentration among the lipid soluble vitamin groups, and exists ubiquitously in the whole body, including cell membranes and lipoproteins. However, it has been reported that the beneficial properties of vitamin E, including its antioxidative effects, are only displayed in vitro, and not in vivo. Therefore, there exists an ongoing debate regarding the biological functions of vitamin E and its relationship with redox balance. In this review, we introduce the relationship between vitamin E and redox interactions with (i) absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion of vitamin E, (ii) oxidative stress and ROS in the body, (iii) mechanism of antioxidative effects, (iv) non-antioxidant functions of vitamin E, and (v) recent recognition of the field of oxidative stress research. Understanding the recent findings of the redox interaction of vitamin E may help to elucidate the different antioxidative phenomena observed for vitamin E in vitro and in vivo.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)430-441
Number of pages12
JournalIUBMB Life
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Apr


  • antioxidants
  • lipid hydroperoxide
  • non-antioxidant functions
  • oxidative stress
  • supramolecular structure
  • tocopherol
  • tocotrienol
  • vitamin E


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