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Increased vitamin E intakes may ameliorate periodontitis

February 23, 2015

According to a new study people with higher blood vitamin E concentrations seem to have a lower risk of developing a chronic inflammation of the gum.

The study analyzed data of 4708 participants of the large US National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) measuring serum vitamin E (tocopherols) levels and assessing periodontal status (1). The study results showed that participants with relatively low serum alpha-tocopherol concentrations had a significantly increased risk for periodontitis. These findings were independent of potential demographic,lifestyle, and biologic confounding factors.

The researchers commented that oxidative stress seems to play a central role in the development of periodontitis, a highly prevalent, microbially induced chronic inflammatory disease, characterized by loss of supporting periodontal ligament and alveolar bone. A well-accepted biologic function of vitamin E is its antioxidant activity, although other possible effects have been suggested, such as cofactors for enzymes and transcription factors for inflammatory and other metabolic pathways (2). The new findings warrant further confirmation in intervention settings.

References

1. Zong G. et al. Serum alpha-Tocopherol Has a Nonlinear Inverse Association with Periodontitis among US Adults. The Journal of Nutrition. Published online February 2015.

2. Zingg J. M. Vitamin E: an overview of major research directions. Mol Aspects Med. 2007; 28:400–422.