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Vitamin E Deficiency Medication

  • Author: Gary E Caplan, MD, MPH, FACOEM; Chief Editor: George T Griffing, MD  more...
Updated: Sep 06, 2013

Medication Summary

Comparison of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), deficiency replacement dose, and preventive dose in international units (IUs) and milligrams is shown in the image below.

Comparison of the recommended daily allowance (RDA Comparison of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), deficiency replacement dose, and preventive dose in international units (IUs) and milligrams.

The RDA of alpha tocopherol according to age is as follows:

  • Age 0-6 months - 3 mg
  • Age 6-12 months - 4 mg
  • Age 1-3 years - 6 mg
  • Age 4-10 years - 7 mg
  • Adults and elderly individuals - 8-10 mg


Vitamin E supplementation is important, because apparently effective doses are beyond the maximum dietary intake. Supplementation with vitamin E is extremely safe except when normal coagulation mechanisms are impaired.

Replacement recommendations according to disease state are as follows:

  • Abetalipoproteinemia - 100-200 IU/kg/d
  • Chronic cholestasis - 15-25 IU/kg/d
  • Cystic fibrosis - 5-10 IU/kg/d
  • Short-bowel syndrome - 200-3600 IU/d
  • Isolated vitamin E deficiency - 800-3600 IU/d

Larger doses are required in short-bowel syndrome and isolated vitamin E deficiency state.


Vitamin E is in the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA's) pregnancy category A. Breastfeeding is safe.



Class Summary

Essential for normal cell function.

Vitamin E (alpha tocopherol)


Protects cell membranes from free radical attacks.

Contributor Information and Disclosures

Gary E Caplan, MD, MPH, FACOEM Occupational Medicine Physician, Workers Compensation Consultant, Healthlink

Gary E Caplan, MD, MPH, FACOEM is a member of the following medical societies: American College of Preventive Medicine, American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Specialty Editor Board

Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Nebraska Medical Center College of Pharmacy; Editor-in-Chief, Medscape Drug Reference

Disclosure: Received salary from Medscape for employment. for: Medscape.

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP Professor of Endocrinology, Director of Training Program, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism, Strelitz Diabetes and Endocrine Disorders Institute, Department of Internal Medicine, Eastern Virginia Medical School

Romesh Khardori, MD, PhD, FACP is a member of the following medical societies: American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American College of Physicians, American Diabetes Association, Endocrine Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

Chief Editor

George T Griffing, MD Professor Emeritus of Medicine, St Louis University School of Medicine

George T Griffing, MD is a member of the following medical societies: American Association for the Advancement of Science, International Society for Clinical Densitometry, Southern Society for Clinical Investigation, American College of Medical Practice Executives, American Association for Physician Leadership, American College of Physicians, American Diabetes Association, American Federation for Medical Research, American Heart Association, Central Society for Clinical and Translational Research, Endocrine Society

Disclosure: Nothing to disclose.

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Comparison of the recommended daily allowance (RDA), deficiency replacement dose, and preventive dose in international units (IUs) and milligrams.
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