Effect of Vitamin E in Dogs With Osteoarthritis

ArticleLast Updated November 20231 min read
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Gordon CL, Reeves SJ, Burchell RK, et al. A blinded, placebo-controlled study on the clinical effects of vitamin E supplementation in dogs with osteoarthritis. J Vet Intern Med. 2023;37(5):1839-1847. doi:10.1111/jvim.16816

Research Note

Damage by synovial free radicals is a key process in the pathogenesis of osteoarthritis (OA). Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, can decrease the effects of oxidative stress in cartilage, inhibit specific inflammatory pathways, and upregulate antioxidants in vitro. In humans with OA, vitamin E supplementation can improve clinical signs and inflammatory markers.  

In this placebo-controlled, double-blinded study, 57 dogs were randomized to receive either vitamin E (400 IU) or placebo PO every 24 hours for 90 days. Blood samples were collected at enrollment and on day 90. Results demonstrated no improvement in pain, lameness, or quality of life as assessed by pet owners and clinicians and no decrease in need for rescue pain relief. No changes in serum chemistry values or C-reactive protein levels were noted. Based on these results, the authors did not recommend vitamin E supplementation in dogs with OA.