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Hautarzt. 2006 Apr;57(4):291-6.

[Sebaceous glands as transporters of vitamin E].

[Article in German]

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Northwestern University, Chicago, USA.


Human sebum is produced by sebaceous glands and reaches the skin surface via secretion through the hair shaft. There is experimental evidence that the sebaceous glands and sebum serve as a transport mechanism taking the lipophilic antioxidant vitamin E from the blood to the skin surface. The highest levels of vitamin E are found in the sebum and in the skin lipid film in sebum-rich areas such as facial skin. Recent studies indicate that daily oral supplementation of moderate doses of alpha-tocopherol for at least 3 weeks leads to significant increases of vitamin E levels in human skin sites with a high density of sebaceous glands, such as the face. Thus, the potential photoprotective and antioxidants effects of oral vitamin E, as well as possibly other antioxidants, are site-dependent. These findings should be considered when designing clinical studies to assess the efficacy of oral antioxidants against oxidative stress in the skin.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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