Contrary to popular belief vitamin E (VET) supplementation has little impact on bone density-the key factor that determines overall physical strength and enables our bodies to function adequately. However recent findings from a study presented in The FASEB Journal by researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Leibniz Institute for Applied Molecular Bioscience (TeMB) show that VET supplementation significantly impacted fracture risk in patients that are at an increased risk for osteoporosis.

Vitamin E one of the most common dietary components found in red meat and other animal foods is known to have many positive effects. It is thought to stimulate the formation of new bone and reduce bone fragility. In particular VET has recently been implicated in promoting fracture by benefiting aged mice. In the modern era osteoporosis is becoming a burden both in the form of reduced bone density and delayed healing.

The researchers wanted to determine whether vitamin E supplementation as well as dietary patterns might be used as a tool to assess bone density. The study involved the most common type of vitamin supplement used in the prevention and treatment of vitamin E deficiency-calcium chloride (CaCl2) supplementation. CaCl2 greatly increased calcium intake in the diet and contributed to fractures. Therefore the researchers considered the impacts of CaCl2 supplementation on bone density and whether its effects were affected in aging mice.

Motivated by the discovery the researchers analysed the effects of vitamin E supplementation on calcium-calciferol (CaC) ratios in the femoral neck femoral head femoral thoracic and femoral leg joints. They discovered that significantly increased CaC did not markedly ameliorate the osteoporosis-related symptoms in mice subjected to a restricted diet enriched with Calcium only. However increased Nutrient E intake compared to the restricted diet did produce significant redistribution of CaC in the femoral neck where a very different type of vitamin was required for the proper development of bone density. Especially Femora Rex Vetching which a naturally occurring vitamin was found to have a significant impact on Ca-C ratio and energy intake in old mice.

The population level effects of vitamin E supplementation appeared to have little impact on calcium-calciferol ratios in the femoral neck or femoral head as the errant VET was absent from calcium-calciferol in the diet composites after intake of Calcium only said the first author of the study Dr. Glenn Boomsma of DKFZ and TeMBTumor Research Center. Moreover the effects on Ca-C ratio were determined only in the knees rather than the femoral neck which is in line with our hypothesis that VET supplementation is not beneficial in older women with osteoporosis. Coming to a similar conclusion the researchers noted that vitamin E supplementation did not appear to have much effect on femoral neck or femoral head external osseous arch bone density given that VET supplementation increased calcium intake in both organs. Therefore the researchers suggested that the results of this study support other studies showing negligible impacts on balance and strength particularly among women.