In order to clarify the effect of vitamin E (α-tocopherol) on anemia and the osmotic fragility of red blood cells (RBC) plasma and RBC levels of vitamin E were measured in 30 regular dialysis patients before and after oral supplementation of vitamin E, 600 mg daily for 30 days. Plasma levels of vitamin E were in the normal range (10.67 ± 0.85, 9.73 ± 0.77 μg/ml) but RBC levels in packed red cells were significantly lower than healthy controls (0.57 ± 0.05, 0.45 ± 0.07 μg/ml). Oral supplementation of vitamin E increased both plasma (20.37 ± 1.61 μg/ml) and RBC vitamin E (1.56 ± 0.11 μg/ml) in packed red cells, while in unsupplemented patients, vitamin E levels remained unchanged. In patients receiving vitamin E, mean osmolarities at the beginning and end of hemolysis decreased from 102.8 ± 0.9 to 98.9 ± 0.7 and 72.1 ± 1.1 to 67.4 ± 0.8 mosm/1, respectively. In addition, the hematocrit increased from 26.1 ± 1.0 to 28.1 ± 1.2%. These changes are statistically significant (p < 0.05). In conclusion, the oral supplementation of vitamin E could be of clinical benefit in correcting anemia in regular dialysis patients by reducing the fragility of RBCs.

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