New Research to Examine Effects of Vitamin E on Obesity


Leslie Shen, Ph.D., C.C.R.P

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 on obesity with obese adults.
Vitamin E has antioxidant properties that protect cells against molecules produced when your body breaks down food. Leslie Shen, Ph.D., C.C.R.P., a TTUHSC professor in the Department of Pathology, said these molecules may play a role in other diseases such as obesity.

“The presence of chronic low-grade inflammation in obese people plays an important role in the development of obesity- associated insulin resistance, diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” Shen said. “Among these risk factors, obesity is now recognized as a worldwide epidemic disease. Obesity-induced chronic low-grade inflammation is initiated by excess nutrients in metabolic cells.”

Shen said aging and the decline of estrogen are factors that contribute to weight gain in postmenopausal women, and approaches, such as anti-inflammatory potential in dietary antioxidants to reduce inflammation may likely combat obesity. TTUHSC researchers are conducting a 24-week research study examining the effects of tocotrienols, a type of vitamin E, on obesity-associated outcome measures in obese men and women.

Participants are needed for this study, “Effect of Tocotrienol (vitamin E isomers) on Obesity.” Shen said other studies have indicated tocotrienols supplements may be good for mitigating negative impacts of obesity in obese adults.

“However, no study has ever been done on the role of tocotrienols in obesity in adult men and 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 obesity in adult men and women.”

Participants should be adult men and women. Participation is free of charge. The study is funded by a grant from School of Medicine, TTUHSC, the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health and American River Nutrition, L.L.C.  

For more information about this research study, contact the Clinical Research Institute at (806) 743-4471 or via email.

Leslie Shen, Ph.D., C.C.R.P.,

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.

Today, more than 20 percent of the practicing physicians in West Texas have graduated from the School of Medicine or its residency programs.