For many years, there have been a small but vocal group of people advocating the use of Vitamin E (d-alpha-tocopherol) *as an enema* for the treatment of Ulcerative Colitis. Their results were all anecdotal, but exciting, and the medication-- which consisted of popping Vitamin E capsules and doing your best to emulsify with water as a carrier-- was cheap, easy to obtain, and potentially free of serious side effects (unknown).
Now a study released today actually PROVES there's significant merit in this therapy! Any weapon in the fight against UC is a big deal, and we should be thrilled at this simple but highly effective option for the more experimental colitis patients amongst us.
Be sure to note that while 100% (!) of people responded positively to the treatment after 3 months, it DID take 3 months, and they all used another pharmaceutical therapy (either 5-ASAs like Lialda or Asacol, or immunomodulators like Remicade).
Here's the study:
Rectal administration of d-alpha tocopherol for active ulcerative colitis: A preliminary report.
Department of Internal Medicine, Amir-Alam Hospital, North Sa'adi Street, Tehran 13145-784, Iran. email@example.com.
AIM: To investigate the anti-oxidant and anti-neutrophil recruitment effects of rectal d-alpha (d-alpha) tocopherol administration on mild and moderately active ulcerative colitis (UC). METHODS: Fifteen patients with mild and moderately active ulcerative colitis were enrolled in an open-label study of d-alpha tocopherol enema (8000 U/d) for 12 wk. All patients were receiving concomitant therapy with 5-aminosalicylic acid derivatives (5-ASA) and/or immunomodulator medications. Endoscopic evaluation was performed at baseline and after 4th and 12th weeks. Disease activity was measured with the Mayo disease activity index (DAI) and remission was defined as DAI of <= 2 with no blood in stool. Clinical response was defined as a DAI reduction of >= 2. RESULTS: At the end of 12th week, the average DAI score significantly decreased compared to the beginning of the study (2.3 +/- 0.37 vs 8 +/- 0.48, P < 0.0001). One patient was withdrawn after 3 wk for being unavailable to follow-up. On the 4th week of therapy, 12 patients showed clinical response, 3 of whom (21.4%) achieving remission. After 12 wk, all 14 patients responded clinically to the therapy and remission was induced in 9 of them (64%). No patient reported adverse events or was hospitalized due to worsened disease activity. CONCLUSION: This preliminary report suggests that rectal d-alpha tocopherol may represent a novel therapy for mild and moderately active UC. The observed results might be due to the anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative properties of vitamin E.