Effects of oral vitamin E supplementation on blood malondialdehyde (MDA), glutathione (GSH) and vitamin E levels and superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GSH-Px) enzyme activities in acute hypothermia of guinea-pigs were investigated. Thirty male guinea pigs, weighing 500-800g were randomly divided into one of three experimental groups: A (control, without cooling), B (hypothermic) and C (hypothermic with vitamin E supplementation). The guinea-pigs of group C received daily oral supplementation of 460mg kg(-1) bw vitamin E for 4 days before inducing hypothermia. Twenty-four hours after the last vitamin E supplementation, the guinea-pigs of the B and C groups were cooled by immersion into cold water (10-12 degrees C), and the control guinea-pigs were immersed into water of body temperature (37 degrees C) up to the neck for 5 min without using any anaesthetic or tranquilizer. Rectal body temperatures of groups were measured and blood samples for biochemical analysis were collected immediately after the cooling. The body temperature, GSH and vitamin E levels and GSH-Px enzyme activity of hypothermic guinea-pigs were lower (p < 0.05), but SOD enzyme activity was not different (p > 0.05) from those of control animals. Although, the body temperature of hypothermic with vitamin E supplementation group was lower (p < 0.05), all other parameters of this group were not different (p > 0.05) from the controls. It was concluded that oral supplementation of vitamin E can alleviate the lipid peroxidation-induced disturbances associated with hypothermia by increasing the serum vitamin E level to normal. However, more studies are needed to prove whether this vitamin can improve quality of life during the cold seasons. Copyright (C) 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.