Kimberly Huey of the University of Illinois in Champaign says vitamin E may be linked to a reduction in cytokines -- proteins that spur the immune response.
In a study published in Experimental Physiology, Huey, Rodney Johnson and other colleagues looked at the effect of taking Vitamin E in mice that were then injected with a low dose of E. coli lipoplysaccharide to induce acute systemic inflammation.
"The mice were administered vitamin E for three days prior to giving them what amounts to a minor systemic bacterial infection," Huey said in a statement.
The mice given vitamin E had less oxidized proteins in muscle tissue than the mice given a placebo.
"Oxidation can be detrimental, and in muscle has been associated with reduced muscle strength," Huey said. "Potentially, if you reduce the oxidized proteins, that may correlate to increased muscle strength."
Some of the other effects were mixed and it should be remembered this was an animal model, but vitamin E "may be beneficial in individuals with chronic inflammation, such as the elderly or patients with type II diabetes or chronic heart failure," Huey said.