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9.24: Vitamin E Deficiency & Toxicity

Vitamin E deficiency is extremely rare. Depletion studies require years on a vitamin E-deficient diet to cause deficiency1. Deficiency primarily occurs in people with lipid malabsorption problems or Ataxia with Isolated Vitamin E Deficiency (AVED). Individuals with AVED have a mutation in their alpha-TTP that prevents it from functioning correctly. The primary symptoms of vitamin E deficiency are neurological problems.

High levels of vitamin E intake do not result in a noted toxicity. However, higher levels of intake are associated with decreased blood coagulation. In particular, hemorrhagic stroke has been linked to high vitamin E levels. The link below shows that in this condition a blood vessel ruptures or leaks in the brain.

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Hemorrhagic Stroke

It is believed that this increased bleeding risk is due to a vitamin E metabolite that has anti-vitamin K activity. This potential antagonism will be described more in the vitamin K section.

References & Links

  1.  DRI (2000) Dietary reference intakes for vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, and carotenoids.