The effect of this supplementation on bone loss (distance from the cementum-enamel junction to the alveolar crest measured at the midline of the lingual aspect of each of the mandibular molar roots) was studied in rats that were either not stressed or stressed on a rotational device for 90 days. In the first neither vitamin E nor stress condition had statistically significant effects but there was substantial bone loss and bone-loss variability in all groups. Before the start of the second study, to reduce differences in bone loss that might otherwise exist before introduction of the treatments, rats received an antibiotic in their drinking water. In addition, rotational stress was introduced more abruptly than in the first study to reduce the likelihood adaptation. Bone loss and bone-loss variability were substantially reduced in the second study. Analysis of these data indicated that vitamin E supplementation had a statistically significant protective effect, which was most pronounced at sites most susceptible to loss. Stressed subjects tended to lose more bone, but this effect was not significant. These findings suggest some role of vitamin E supplementation in the maintenance of periodontal health but also a sensitivity in this effect to initial periodontal status.