Osteopenia is a condition characterized by bone mass reduction commonly occurring in postmenopausal women. Low bone mass often leads to fractures, so it’s not surprising that osteopenic women account for as much as 50% of total fractures.
Many factors contribute to bone loss, and they may also include reactive oxygen species.
But, there’s hope, it seems, and it lies in a widely available nutrient—vitamin E. This lipid-soluble vitamin is a well-known potent antioxidant that might be the key to preventing osteopenia and maintaining bone health.
Observational studies imply that poor tocopherol blood levels and low vitamin E consumption are linked to osteoporosis and hip fracture in postmenopausal women, which sparked scientists’ interest in its potential.
A recently published study in Nutrients journal by a Thai study group shows that mixed-tocopherol supplementation may positively affect bone remodeling in postmenopausal osteopenic women.
The researchers split 52 female respondents into two groups, treating one with placebo and the other with 400 IU of mixed-tocopherol a day for 12 weeks.
The authors found that mixed-tocopherol supplementation was significantly more effective than placebo. Namely, vitamin E supplements slowed down the growth of bone resorption marker levels.
While bone resorption markers in the vitamin E supplementation group remained more or less unchanged after the treatment, they increased by 35.3% in the placebo group.
Moreover, the treatment produced no significant side effects.
This indicates that vitamin E may potentially have a preventative effect on bone loss due to its anti-resorptive action.
Naturally, more research is required to confirm vitamin E’s effectiveness in preventing and managing osteopenia. The authors suggested that the duration of the follow-up should be increased and mixed tocopherol supplementation dose varied in future research.