New Research to Examine Effects of Vitamin E on Skeletal Muscle Health


Of the 13 essential vitamins, vitamin E is known to benefit vision, reproduction and a person’s blood, brain and skin. Researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) now are studying vitamin E to examine the effects of the vitamin in

postmenopausal women with low muscle strength.

Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that protect cells against molecules produced when your body breaks down food. Leslie Shen, Ph.D., a TTUHSC professor in the Department of Pathology, said these molecules may play a role in skeletal muscle aging.

“Skeletal muscle aging is associated with a progressive and dramatic loss of muscle mass and strength and slower or impaired regenerative capacity, resulting in muscle weakness, physical frailty and impaired mobility,” Shen said. “Aging and decline of estrogen are factors that contribute to skeletal muscle disorders in elderly postmenopausal women, and approaches, such as anti-inflammatory potential in dietary antioxidants to reduce inflammation may likely combat skeletal muscle disorder.”

TTUHSC researchers are conducting a 24-week research study examining the effects of tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E, on skeletal muscle-associated outcome measures in postmenopausal women with low muscle strength. Participants are needed for this study,  “Tocotrienols Supplementation for Postmenopausal Women with Low Muscle Strength,” Shen said other studies have indicated tocotrienols supplements may be good for skeletal muscle health.

“However, no study has ever been done on the role of tocotrienols in skeletal muscle health in humans, including postmenopausal women,” Shen said. “Our long-term goal is to develop a new strategy featuring a dietary supplement such as tocotrienols for mitigating negative impacts of aging-associated skeletal muscle disorders in elderly postmenopausal women.”

Participants should be postmenopausal women (60 to 85 years). Participation is free of charge. The study is funded by a grant from South Plains Foundation, Lubbock, TX.  

For more information, contact Anna Rodriguez at (806) 743-2533 or

Story produced by the Office of Communications and Marketing, (806) 743-2143.

School of Medicine

School of Medicine

Since 1969, the School of Medicine has graduated more than 3,000 physicians. The school aims to provide quality lab space, recruit creative, innovative research faculty, and develop graduate students and postdoctoral fellows for lifelong careers in medical research.

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