Vitamin E depletes liver iron stores


Feb 26, 2018
I've read people discussing on this forum about whether Vitamin E actually depletes live iron stores or only protects against its damage (ferroptosis) .
This study is pretty clear on what's going on: Vitamin E depletes liver iron stores (in mice), which is shown through a bunch of blood markers.

The dosage they used was pretty hefty, so that should be taken into account. The control dosage actually seems like a more reasonable dose. They used a-tocopherol.

"The Vit E-fed mice exhibited lower levels of liver nonheme iron (38% reduction, P < 0.0001) and ferritin (74% reduction, P < 0.01) than control-fed mice. The levels of liver mRNA for transferrin receptor 1 and divalent metal transporter 1 were reduced to 42% and 57% of the control, respectively. The mRNA levels for targets of nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor (Nrf2), a major regulator of the oxidative stress response and iron-responsive genes, were also suppressed in vit E livers. Hepcidin, an iron regulatory hormone, levels were lower in the plasma (P < 0.05), and ferroportin (FPN), the iron exporter regulated by hepcidin, was expressed at higher levels in the liver (P < 0.05).

Conclusions: Oral vit E supplementation in mice can lead to depletion of liver iron stores by suppressing the iron- and redox-sensing transcription factor Nrf2, leading to enhanced iron efflux through liver FPN. Iron depletion may indirectly enhance the antioxidative effects of vit E."

- Vitamin E Induces Liver Iron Depletion and Alters Iron Regulation in Mice - PubMed

David PS

Jan 5, 2016
Dark side of the moon
It is difficult for me to determine whether the reduction in iron was a good thing for the elevated group. The trial lasted 18 days so the drop was fast. Free full text available after 29 Apr 2024

Assuming for a moment that the elevated (450 mg/kg) levels was reduced by 74% to 117mg/kg that would be the equivalent of lowering it into the range of 2-3 blood transfusions in this study.

And within the normal range.

Currently, I do not supplement vitamin E daily, but I did at one time. I will need to review Dr. Peat's recommendation for vitamin E.
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David PS

Jan 5, 2016
Dark side of the moon
Timestamps from a 2019 interview of Georgi Dinkov related to Vitamin E.

7:21 Vitamin E’s Pro-metabolic Properties
8:13 Difference between today’s mixed Tocopherol supplements & mixed Tocopheral used by Ray Peat in the 60’s and 70’s (Wheat Germ oil extracted)
8:32 Wheat Germ Oil Has a Tocohperal Mixture that is high in alpha tocopherol isomer & contains number of “impurities” which have been removed
8:48 Today’s vendors offer soy extracted mixed tocopherols
9:02 Soy extracted mixed tocopherols are high in gamma isomer (less of alpha isomer)
10:05 Benefits from Wheat Germ extracted Vitamin E aside from the mixed tocopherol was due to Polycocinals: Long chain saturated fatty acid alcohols with multiple beneficial effects
11:09 Today’s vendors offering Wheat Germ Oil are 80% fat or higher and have low tocopherol content (thus taking a few 100 units of vitamin E requires taking intake of significant amount of PUFA)
11:36 Tocovit’s development background
14:04 Ray’s thoughts on earlier Tocovit product; More on Tocovit


Apr 17, 2017
...Hepcidin, an iron regulatory hormone, levels were lower in the plasma,...

What Is Hepcidin?​

Hepcidin is a peptide hormone. Its main function is to control the bodys iron levels and help maintain its balance (homeostasis). Iron is an essential micronutrient necessary for the proper functioning of the body. However, when its levels are too high, it becomes toxic [1].

Hepcidin blocks iron that comes from the gut, immune cells (macrophages), and liver cells. It inhibits iron entry into the blood by binding to ferroportin (an iron transporter) and breaking it down [2, 3].

Hepcidin is produced in the liver. The following factors control hepcidin levels:
  • Blood and liver iron levels. Low iron levels decrease hepcidin, while high levels increase it [1, 4].
  • The production of red blood cells, which cannot happen without iron. In anemia, hepcidin is lowered to increase the supply of iron for red blood cell production [4, 5].
  • Inflammation (IL-6) and infection increase hepcidin to limit iron availability to invading microbes, which need this electrolyte to survive [1, 4, 6].
  • Low oxygen levels (hypoxia). This happens in conditions when there is a lower supply of oxygen to the tissues, such as in anemia [7].

Factors that May Decrease Hepcidin Levels​

  • Vitamin D
    In a pilot trial on 7 healthy volunteers, 100,000 IU vitamin D decreased hepcidin levels [45].
  • Curcumin
    Curcumin significantly reduced hepcidin production in mouse liver cells by blocking the STAT3 transmission pathway [46].
  • Aspirin
    In rat cells, aspirin decreased hepcidin production by decreasing inflammation (and the inflammatory cytokine IL-6)[47].
  • Testosterone
    In a clinical trial on 109 men, 20 weeks of testosterone administration suppressed hepcidin levels. However, inflammatory markers and iron levels did not change [48].
Vitamin A may also decrease hepcidin levels, studies have shown an inverse relationship between serum retinol levels and serum hepcidin levels.
EMF Mitigation - Flush Niacin - Big 5 Minerals

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