Vitamin E supplementation may offer several benefits to patients on haemodialysis (HD), who typically experience high levels of oxidative stress, as there is some evidence that supplementation reduces oxidative stress and LDL oxidability in this population (Badiou et al 2003, Diepeveen et al 2005, Giray et al 2003, Galli et al 2001).

Haemodialysis patients also experience cramps, which appeared to respond to vitamin E supplementation according to a placebo-controlled, double-blind study of 60 subjects (Khajehdehi et al 2001). Treatment with vitamin E 400 mg/day for 8 weeks resulted in a 54% reduction in cramps, which increased to a 97% reduction when combined with vitamin C (250 mg/day). The benefits were not significantly associated with age, sex, aetiology of end-stage renal disease, serum electrolytes or HD duration, but showed a positive correlation (P = 0.01) with the type of therapy

According to one small study, vitamin E supplementation (500 mg/day) allowed for a reduction in erythropoietin dose (from 93 to 74 U/kg/week) while maintaining stable haemoglobin concentrations (Cristol et al 1997).

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