Tocotrienol rich fraction supplementation improved lipid profile and oxidative status in healthy older adults: A randomized controlled study

Chin, S. F.,Ibahim, J.,Makpol, S.,Abdul Hamid, N. A.,Abdul Latiff, A.,Zakaria, Z.,Mazlan, M.,Mohd Yusof, Y. A.,Abdul Karim, A.,Wan Ngah, W. Z.

Nutr Metab (Lond) 2011;8(1):42


Background: Vitamin E supplements containing tocotrienols are now being recommended for optimum health but its effects are scarcely known. The objective was to determine the effects of Tocotrienol Rich Fraction (TRF) supplementation on lipid profile and oxidative status in healthy older individuals at a dose of 160 mg/day for 6 months.

Methods: Sixty-two subjects were recruited from two age groups: 35-49 years (n = 31) and above 50 years (n = 31), and randomly assigned to receive either TRF or placebo capsules for six months. Blood samples were obtained at 0, 3rd and 6th months.

Results: HDL-cholesterol in the TRF-supplemented group was elevated after 6 months (p < 0.01). Protein carbonyl contents were markedly decreased (p < 0.001), whereas AGE levels were lowered in the > 50 year-old group (p < 0.05). Plasma levels of total vitamin E particularly tocopherols were significantly increased in the TRF-supplemented group after 3 months (p < 0.01). Plasma total tocotrienols were only increased in the > 50 year-old group after receiving 6 months of TRF supplementation. Changes in enzyme activities were only observed in the > 50 year-old group. SOD activity was decreased after 3 (p < 0.05) and 6 (p < 0.05) months of TRF supplementation whereas CAT activity was decreased after 3 (p < 0.01) and 6 (p < 0.05) months in the placebo group. GPx activity was increased at 6 months for both treatment and placebo groups (p < 0.05).

Conclusion: The observed improvement of plasma cholesterol, AGE and antioxidant vitamin levels as well as the reduced protein damage may indicate a restoration of redox balance after TRF supplementation, particularly in individuals over 50 years of age.

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Tocotrienols Extend Telomeres and Turn Back the Clock

Byron J. Richards

A study with human cells and tocotrienols has demonstrated potent anti-aging effects of tocotrienols, actually extending the length of telomeres while preventing damage to DNA. This study is knocking on the door of the fountain of youth. Tocotrienols, the most potent form of vitamin E, have garnered world-wide scientific attention for their ability to help kill cancer in tandem with and without cancer drugs, their ability to lower cholesterol in a safe way, and a literal mountain of impressive cardiovascular research that I recently reviewed in my article, Tocotrienols: Twenty Years of Dazzling Cardiovascular and Cancer Research.

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BACKGROUND: The bran part of red rice grain is concentrated with many phytochemicals, including proanthocyanidins, oryzanol and vitamin E, that exert beneficial effects on human health, but it contains low levels of essential minerals such as Fe and Zn. In the present study, the protein, lipid, phytochemicals and mineral contents in bran samples were compared among red rice SA-586 and its NaN₃-induced mutants.

RESULTS: The plant heights of NaN₃-induced mutants were decreased. The contents of protein, lipid, total phenolics, total flavonoids, total anthocyanins, total proanthocyanidins, total γ-oryzanol, total tocopherols and total tocotrienols also varied among the tested mutants. The brans of mutants M-18, M-56 and M-50 contained more proanthocyanidins, γ-oryzanol, vitamin E than that of SA-586, respectively. M-54 accumulated more Fe content (588.7 mg kg⁻¹ bran dry weight) than SA-586 (100.1 mg kg⁻¹ bran dry weight).

CONCLUSIONS: The brans of M-18, M-50 and M-56 are good sources of proanthocyanidins, vitamin E and γ-oryzanol, respectively, while the bran of M-54 is rich in Fe. Thus these mutants could be used to produce high-value phytochemicals or Fe byproducts from bran during rice grain milling or as genetic resources for rice improvement programs.

Induction of apoptosis by γ-tocotrienol in human cancer cell lines and leukemic blasts from patients: Dependency on Bid, cytochrome c, and caspase pathway

Inoue A, Takitani K, Koh M, Kawakami C, Kuno T, Tamai H.

Nutr Cancer. 2011;63(5):763-70. Epub 2011 Jun 9.

Tocotrienols (Toc3) have been suggested to possess anticancer effects besides antioxidant and antiinflammatory effects. Previous studies have demonstrated that Toc3 induce apoptosis in epithelial carcinoma. However, the effects of Toc3 on malignant hematopoietic cells have not yet been thoroughly investigated. We investigated Toc3-induced apoptosis in human hematological cancer cell lines. α-, δ-, and γ-Toc3 induced concentration-dependent apoptosis, and γ-Toc3 demonstrated more effective induction than the other Toc3 derivatives in HL-60 cells. γ-Toc3 may have induced apoptosis by activation of the caspase cascade, cytochrome c (Cyt.c) release, Bid cleavage, and mitochondorial membrane depolarization in HL-60, NB-4, Raji, and SY-5Y cells. Furthermore, 10-30 μM γ-Toc3 showed cytotoxicity for leukemic cells from various patients regardless of lymphoblastic, myeloblastic, or relapsed leukemia, but the cytotoxic effect was weak in normal mononuclear cells, interestingly. γ-Toc3 may have a role in cancer prevention and potential for treating hematological malignancies.

α-Tocotrienol quinone modulates oxidative stress response and the biochemistry of aging

Shrader WD, Amagata A, Barnes A, Enns GM, Hinman A, Jankowski O, Kheifets V, Komatsuzaki R, Lee E, Mollard P, Murase K, Sadun AA, Thoolen M, Wesson K, Miller G.

Bioorg Med Chem Lett. 2011 Jun 15;21(12):3693-8.

We report that α-tocotrienol quinone (ATQ3) is a metabolite of α-tocotrienol, and that ATQ3 is a potent cellular protectant against oxidative stress and aging. ATQ3 is orally bioavailable, crosses the blood-brain barrier, and has demonstrated clinical response in inherited mitochondrial disease in open label studies. ATQ3 activity is dependent upon reversible 2e-redox-cycling. ATQ3 may represent a broader class of unappreciated dietary-derived phytomolecular redox motifs that digitally encode biochemical data using redox state as a means to sense and transfer information essential for cellular function.

The increasing interest in antioxidant properties of cereal and cereal-based products has prompted the development of a simple and reliable HPLC method for the simultaneous determination of important phytochemicals like tocopherols (T), tocotrienols (T3) and carotenoids. Separation was carried out on a Nucleosil 100 C(18) column, 5 μm (250 mm × 4.6 mm) thermostated at 25 °C, using a linear gradient elution system starting with methanol and ending with a mixture of methanol-isopropanol-acetonitrile. All separated compounds including the internal standard (α-tocopherol acetate) were eluted within 16 min and detected by dual detection: fluorescence for tocopherols and tocotrienols at 290 nm excitation and 320 nm emission and UV-vis photodiode array detection for lutein and β-carotene at 450 nm. Detection limits ranged from 0.2 μg/g (β-carotene) to 1.60 μg/g (α-tocopherol). The intra- and inter-assay coefficients of variation were calculated by using cereals with different levels of lipophilic antioxidants. The extraction method involved sample saponification and clean-up by solid-phase extraction (SPE). The extraction recoveries obtained using OASIS HLB SPE cartridges and dichloromethane as eluent were in the range of 90.2-110.1%, with RSD lower than 10%. The method was successfully applied to cereals: durum wheat, bread wheat, rice, barley, oat, rye, corn and triticale.

Tocotrienol combination therapy results in synergistic anticancer response

Sylvester PW, Wali VB, Bachawal SV, Shirode AB, Ayoub NM, Akl MR.

Front Biosci. 2011 Jun 1;16:3183-95.

Vitamin E represents a family of compounds that is divided into two subgroups called tocopherols and tocotrienols, which act as important antioxidants that regulate peroxidation reactions and control free-radical production within the body. However, many of the biological effects of vitamin E are mediated independently of its antioxidant activity. Although tocopherols and tocotrienols have the same basic chemical structure characterized by a long phytyl chain attached to a chromane ring, only tocotrienols display potent anticancer activity, by modulating multiple intracellular signaling pathways associated with tumor cell proliferation and survival, and combination therapy with other chemotherapeutic agents result in a synergistic anticancer response. Combination therapy is most effective when tocotrienols are combined with agents that have complementary anticancer mechanisms of action. These findings strongly suggest that the synergistic antiproliferative and apoptotic effects demonstrated by combined low dose treatment of γ-tocotrienol with other chemotherapeutic agents may provide significant health benefits in the prevention and/or treatment of breast cancer in women, while at the same time avoiding tumor resistance and toxic side effects associated with high dose monotherapy.

Hematopoietic recovery and amelioration of radiation-induced lethality by the vitamin E isoform δ-tocotrienol

Satyamitra MM, Kulkarni S, Ghosh SP, Mullaney CP, Condliffe D, Srinivasan V.

Radiat Res. 2011 Jun;175(6):736-45.

 δ-Tocotrienol (DT3), a vitamin E isoform, is associated with strong antioxidant and immunomodulatory properties. We confirmed the potent antioxidant activity in membrane systems and showed that DT3 is an effective radiation protector and mitigator. DT3 (4 μM, P < 0.001) inhibited lipid peroxidation in mouse liver microsomes and nitric oxide (NO) formation (20 μM DT3, P < 0.01) in RAW264.7 cells, a murine alveolar macrophage line. In CD2F1 mice exposed to lethal total-body radiation from a (60)Co γ-radiation source, a single subcutaneous (s.c.) injection of DT3 before or after irradiation produced a significant increase in 30-day survival. DT3 was effective from 18.75 to 300 mg/kg (–24 h, P < 0.001). A single dose of 150 or 300 mg/kg DT3 given 24 h before irradiation (radioprotection) resulted in dose reduction factors (DRFs) of 1.19 and 1.27, respectively (P < 0.001). Further, DT3 reduced radiation lethality when administered 2, 6 or 12 h after irradiation, and 150 mg/kg DT3 administered 2 h after exposure conferred a DRF of 1.1 (mitigation). The optimum schedule of 300 mg/kg DT3 24 h prior to 7 Gy significantly reduced pancytopenia compared to irradiated controls (P < 0.05). The large therapeutic potential of and multi-lineage hematopoietic recovery for DT3 warrants further studies.

Hydrogen peroxide induces neurite degeneration: Prevention by tocotrienols

Fukui K, Takatsu H, Koike T, Urano S.

Free Radic Res. 2011 Jun;45(6):681-91.

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) may attack several types of tissues and chronic exposure to ROS may attenuate various biological functions and increase the risk of several types of serious disorders. It is known that treatments with ROS attack neurons and induce cell death. However, the mechanisms of neuronal change by ROS prior to induction of cell death are not yet understood. Here, it was found that treatment of neurons with low concentrations of hydrogen peroxide induced neurite injury, but not cell death. Unusual bands located above the original collapsin response mediator protein (CRMP)-2 protein were detected by western blotting. Treatment with tocopherol or tocotrienols significantly inhibited these changes in neuro2a cells and cerebellar granule neurons (CGCs). Furthermore, prevention by tocotrienols of hydrogen peroxide-induced neurite degeneration was stronger than that by tocopherol. These findings indicate that neurite beading is one of the early events of neuronal degeneration prior to induction of death of hydrogen peroxide-treated neurons. Treatment with tocotrienols may protect neurite function through its neuroprotective function.

Vitamin E tocotrienols significantly lower disease-promoting triglycerides

John Phillip

Extensive Big Pharma propaganda has most allopathic physicians and their patients focused on blood cholesterol levels as a critical factor in cardiovascular disease development, as this is a number they can easily manipulate with dangerous statin drugs. Extensive scientific research points to increased levels of blood fat triglycerides as a primary cause of heart disease, cognitive decline, dementia and metabolic syndrome leading to diabetes.

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