Vitamin E (VE) is the generic term for four tocopherols and four tocotrienols that exhibit the biological activity of α-tocopherol. VE status, which is usually estimated by measuring fasting blood VE concentration, is affected by numerous factors, such as dietary VE intake, VE absorption efficiency, and VE catabolism. Several of these factors are in turn modulated by genetic variations in genes encoding proteins involved in these factors. To identify these genetic variations, two strategies have been used: genome-wide association studies and candidate gene association studies. Each of these strategies has its advantages and its drawbacks, nevertheless they have allowed us to identify a list of single nucleotide polymorphisms associated with fasting blood VE concentration and α-tocopherol bioavailability. However, much work remains to be done to identify, and to replicate in different populations, all the single nucleotide polymorphisms involved, to assess the possible involvement of other kind of genetic variations, e.g., copy number variants and epigenetic modifications, in order to establish a reliable list of genetic variations that will allow us to predict the VE status of an individual by knowing their genotype in these genetic variations. Yet, the potential usefulness of this area of research is exciting with regard to personalized nutrition and for future clinical trials dedicated to assessing the biological effects of the various isoforms of VE.
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