1. In a randomized, double-blind 6-month study, α-tocopherol (728 mg) or placebo were administered daily to seventy-eight volunteers (forty-nine men, twenty-nine women) to investigate the possible enhancing effect of vitamin E on plasma high-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels. In addition, the available reported values from short-term (4–6 weeks) studies, as well as the 4-week results from the present study, were combined and analysed for factors which may modify the effect of α-tocopherol on HDL-C.
2. No consistent effect of α-tocopherol on plasma HDL-C levels was observed either in the combined 4-week values or in the 6-month study. Further analysis of the combined short-term values and 6-month values indicated that, in subjects with low initial HDL-C levels, treatment with α-tocopherol or placebo did not produce significantly different HDL-C changes.