Research: SHAHAR and colleagues,

Listed in Issue 109


SHAHAR and colleagues, Institute of Allergy, Clinical Immunology, and AIDS, Rambam Medical Center, Haifa, Israel,, have studied the effect of vitamin E supplementation on seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever).


Evidence from basic science studies suggests that vitamin E may reduce allergic immune responses. However, only a few clinical studies of the effect of vitamin E on allergic conditions have been performed in patients with eczema and asthma, and none have been performed in patients with allergic rhinitis. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of high-dose vitamin E supplementation in combination with standard treatment on the symptoms of seasonal allergic rhinitis.


In this double-blinded, placebo-controlled, randomized study, 112 patients with documented hay fever received either vitamin E (800 mg/d) or placebo in addition to their regular treatment during the pollen season. Patients recorded their daily nasal and eye symptoms and their daily need for other medications.


Nasal symptom scores were lower in patients who received vitamin E supplementation during the hay fever season. However, there was no reduction in the percentage of days with serious symptoms or in the percentage of days that medications were used to control allergic symptoms during the pollen season. No effect was observed on ocular symptoms.


Vitamin E supplementation may be a valuable addition to the treatment of patients with hay fever. However, further clinical and basic science studies are needed.


Shahar E, Hassoun G, Pollack S. Effect of vitamin E supplementation on the regular treatment of seasonal allergic rhinitis. Annals of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology 92 (6): 654-658, Jun 2004.

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