OSU Logo The benefits of vitamin E for skin health are probably known to all individuals. Vitamin E has to apparently be consumed with some amount of fat-containing food, so that it gets absorbed by the body. A groundbreaking study claims that kids with severe burn injuries have significantly depleted levels of vitamin E in the body’s adipose or fat tissues.

Scientists examined eight children with third-degree burns over the body and observed that almost half of the stored vitamin E was lost in three weeks. The findings were ascertained even after providing participants with 150 percent of the recommended daily allowance of vitamin E and other nutrients in a high-calorie diet. It was concluded that depletion of vitamin E can seemingly result in various issues among patients with burn injury and other forms of severe trauma. It is assumed that many patients with severe burn injuries have nerve damage that is linked with vitamin E deficiency in humans. Currently, authors are unable to affirm whether heavier supplementation with vitamin E after a burn injury can help this or other health and healing issues.

Maret Traber, a professor and the principal investigator in the Linus Pauling Institute, said, “Unfortunately, with the modern American diet too many people are getting most of their vitamin E from foods that aren’t particularly good for them, things like ice cream or potato chips. It’s probable that most people don’t get enough of this vitamin at all, and that’s one of the reasons we’re looking at people who have suffered severe illness or injury, in which vitamin E deficiencies may complicate other health problems.”

From the total of eight burn patients inspected, three claimed to have tissue levels of vitamin E that can be considered deficient upon admission to the hospital, shortly after an injury. As the body may work overtime to deal with the trauma of burns, skin loss and oxidative stress a huge increase in metabolic rate occurs. All the participants had major injuries with burns from over 29 percent to 93 percent of the body. Since burn patients do not receive adequate vitamin E nutrition, elevation in vitamin E supplementation can probably reduce the neuropathy, or nerve damage, that is commonly correlated with severe burns. Additional investigations will be triggered to understand the mechanism and consequences of the probable decline in vitamin E due to severe burn injuries.

The study was published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.