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Effect of vitamin E supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis



The purpose of this study was to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of vitamin E in rheumatoid arthritis patients.


A computerized search of PubMed, Embase, The Cochrane Library, and Web of Science databases was conducted to find published randomized controlled trials of vitamin E in rheumatoid arthritis; the experimental group was treated with vitamin E, while the control group was treated with placebo, other drugs, or external therapy; the search period was from the time each database was established to December 31, 2021, and a meta-analysis was conducted using Rev Man 5.4 software.


This research eventually comprised nine publications with a total of 39,845 patients. Vitamin E supplementation was shown to be more effective in individuals with RA for sensitive joints (MD = −1.66, 95% CI − −6.32–2.99; I2 = 93%; P < 0.00001) and swollen joints (MD = −0.46, 95% CI − −1.98–1.07; I2 = 56%; P = 0.08).


Vitamin E’s ability to restore the intestinal barrier and improve the gastrointestinal tract may be linked to the prevention and treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Vitamin E supplements used on a regular basis can help individuals with RA reduce joint discomfort, edema, and stiffness, as well as enhance their overall quality of life.

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Fig. 1: Flow chart of the study’s screening process.
Fig. 2
Fig. 3: Effectiveness of vitamin E and placebo in the comparison of signs in patients with RA.
Fig. 4

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Data availability

The datasets created and/or analyzed during this work may be found in Pubmed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and Embase.


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We gratefully acknowledge ms. Weijing Fan. She is thanked for her silent support and advice to the first author. We are very grateful for her help with different aspects of the study. Thanks also to her for her assistance in preparing this manuscript. We hope ms. Weijin Fan will marry the first author.


This study was supported by funding from the Natural Science Foundation of Shaanxi Province (No. 2021JM569, No. 2018JM7081).

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All authors read and approved the final manuscript. And all authors discuss the concept of the manuscript. Conception or design of the work: RZ and JM. Contributed equally to this study. HK and RZ: carried out the literature search and statistical analysis; collected, analyzed, and interpreted the data. HK: drafting the article; JM: wrote and critically revised the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Rui Zhang or Jianbing Ma.

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Kou, H., Qing, Z., Guo, H. et al. Effect of vitamin E supplementation in rheumatoid arthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Clin Nutr 77, 166–172 (2023).

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