Effect of vitamins C and E on recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury: systematic review and meta-analysis of animal studies.

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Nutrition reviews


CONTEXT: Many animal studies have evaluated the role of vitamins in the recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury, but their results have been contradictory and no consensus has been reached.

OBJECTIVE: This meta-analysis aimed to investigate the effects of vitamin C and vitamin E on recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury in animal models.

DATA SOURCES: Two authors independently collected the records of relevant articles published in MEDLINE, Embase, Scopus, and Web of Science through November 2018.

STUDY SELECTION: All studies conducted in animal models to evaluate the therapeutic effects of vitamin C or vitamin E or both on recovery of motor function after spinal cord injury were included. Studies that lacked a control group or a standard treatment, lacked an assessment of motor function, included genetically modified/engineered animals, included animals pretreated with vitamin C or vitamin E, or combined vitamin treatment with other methods, such as cell therapies, were excluded.

DATA EXTRACTION: Data from 10 articles met the inclusion criteria for meta-analysis, conducted in accordance with PRISMA guidelines.

RESULTS: Daily supplementation with vitamin C (P < 0.0001) and vitamin E (P < 0.0001) significantly improved the recovery of motor function in animals affected by spinal cord injury. Vitamin C supplementation is effective only when administered intraperitoneally (P < 0.0001). Concurrent supplementation with both vitamins does not show better efficacy than treatment with either one alone.

CONCLUSION: Administration of vitamin C and vitamin E in animal models of spinal cord injury significantly improves the recovery of motor function.

Clinical Institute

Orthopedics & Sports Medicine