Vitamin E dietary supplementation protects against carbon tetrachloride—induced chronic liver damage and cirrhosis



Previous studies have shown that α-tocopherol (vitamin E) pretreatment of experimental animals can protect against acute liver necrosis induced by carbon tetrachloride. In this study we investigated whether the increase of vitamin E liver content by dietary supplementation influences chronic liver damage and cirrhosis induced by carbon tetrachloride in the rat. Our data indicate that vitamin E supplementation did not interfere with the growth rate of the animals and increased about threefold the liver's content of the vitamin. Vitamin E supplementation significantly reduced oxidative liver damage, but it was not effective in protecting against development of fatty liver and did not interfere with metabolic activation of carbon tetrachloride. Moreover, vitamin E—fed animals showed incomplete but significant prevention of liver necrosis and cirrhosis induced by carbon tetrachloride. This has been shown by means of histological examination, analysis of serum parameters and biochemical evaluation of collagen content. These results show that an increased liver content of vitamin E can afford a significant degree of protection against carbon tetrachloride–induced chronic liver damage and cirrhosis. (HEPATOLOGY 1992;16:1014–1021)