Revisiting the therapeutic potential of tocotrienol

Ranmali Ranasinghe, Michael Mathai, Anthony Zulli

Biofactors . 2022 Jun 20. doi: 10.1002/biof.1873. Online ahead of print


The therapeutic potential of the tocotrienol group stems from its nutraceutical properties as a dietary supplement. It is largely considered to be safe when consumed at low doses for attenuating pathophysiology as shown by animal models, in vitro assays, and ongoing human trials. Medical researchers and the allied sciences have experimented with tocotrienols for many decades, but its therapeutic potential was limited to adjuvant or concurrent treatment regimens. Recent studies have focused on targeted drug delivery by enhancing the bioavailability through carriers, self-sustained emulsions, nanoparticles, and ethosomes. Epigenetic modulation and computer remodeling are other means that will help increase chemosensitivity. This review will focus on the systemic intracellular anti-cancer, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory mechanisms that are stimulated and/or regulated by tocotrienols while highlighting its potent therapeutic properties in a diverse group of clinical diseases.

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Therapeutic effects of intranasal tocotrienol-rich fraction on rhinitis symptoms in platelet-activating factor induced allergic rhinitis

Cheryl Wei Ling Teo, Stephanie Jia Ying Png, Yee Wei Ung, Wei Ney Yap

Allergy Asthma Clin Immunol . 2022 Jun 13;18(1):52


Background: Platelet-activating factor (PAF) has been suggested to be a potent inflammatory mediator in Allergic rhinitis (AR) pathogenesis. Vitamin E, an essential nutrient that comprises tocopherol and tocotrienol, is known as a potential therapeutic agent for airway allergic inflammation. This study aimed to investigate the beneficial effects of intranasal Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on PAF-induced AR in a rat model.

Methods: Sprague Dawley rats were randomly assigned into 3 groups: Control, PAF-induced AR and PAF-induced AR with TRF treatment. To induce AR, 50 μl of 16 μg/ml PAF was nasally instilled into each nostril. From day 1 to 7 after AR induction, 10 μl of 16 μg/μl TRF was delivered intranasally to the TRF treatment group. Complete upper skulls were collected for histopathological evaluation on day 8.

Results: The average severity scores of AR were significantly higher in the PAF-induced AR rats compared to both control and PAF-induced AR with TRF treatment. The histologic examination of the nasal structures showed moderate degree of inflammation and polymorphonuclear cells infiltration in the lamina propria, mucosa damage and vascular congestion in the PAF-induced AR rats. TRF was able to ameliorate the AR symptoms by restoring the nasal structures back to normal. H&E staining demonstrated a statistically significant benefit upon TRF treatment, where minimal degree of inflammation, and a reduction in the infiltration of polymorphonuclear cells, mucosa damage and vascular congestion were observed.

Conclusion: TRF exhibited symptomatic relief action in AR potentially due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-allergic properties.

Therapeutic potential of palm oil vitamin E-derived tocotrienols in inflammation and chronic diseases: Evidence from preclinical and clinical studies

Zaida Zainal, Huzwah Khaza'ai, Ammu Kutty Radhakrishnan, Sui Kiat Chang

Food Res Int . 2022 Jun;156:111175. doi: 10.1016/j.foodres.2022.111175. Epub 2022 Mar 21


Palm oil is rich in tocotrienols (T3s), a type of vitamin E that has garnered considerable research interest as it exhibits anti-inflammatory as well as antioxidant characteristics that are comparable to or exceed those of tocopherols (Toc). Notably, T3 must be consumed as it cannot be produced by the human body. Here, we reviewed the anti-inflammatory activities of T3s in the prevention and treatment of various inflammatory disorders; focusing on recent preclinical and clinical studies. There is compelling data from experimental models and human studies that shows that T3 administration can inhibit the release of various inflammatory mediators that contribute to age-related disease by enhancing oxidative stress, reducing melanin production and skin damage, and preventing cardiovascular disease and stroke. There is evidence to show that T3s possess neuroprotective, anticancer, and anti-osteoporosis properties. In addition, T3s also protect the gastrointestinal tract, facilitate blood glucose control in people with diabetes, and prevent fatty liver disease. Furthermore, results from some clinical studies suggest that T3s are beneficial nutritional supplements with no evident side-effects when administered to patients with neurological or cardiovascular disorders. There is growing evidence from clinical trials that shows that T3s can help prevent dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. More well-designed clinical trials, as well as human intervention studies, are required to confirm the health benefits of palm T3.

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Get Your Free Horoscope Reading Today with Russell Grant Vitamin E deficiency: Difficulty walking could be a sign you need supplements – study

Various studies have shown that a lack of vitamin E can ultimately trigger walking and coordination difficulties, as well as muscle weakness. Also known as alpha-tocopherol, or a-tocopherol, it is mainly found in fatty foods such as cooking oils – like olive oil and sunflower oil, and nuts and seeds. Vitamin E works to protect the neurons moving through our bodies – and without it the function of the nervous system can break down.

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Vitamin E reduces inflammation and improves cognitive disorder and vascular endothelial functions in patients with leukoaraiosis

Yan Wang, Guoce Li, Jianping Lv, Yingwen Zhou, Hongxia Ma

Int J Neurosci . 2022 Jun 2;1-9. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2022.2079505. Online ahead of print.


Background: Leukoaraiosis (LA) is a disease manifested by demyelination and gliosis in white matter, mainly caused by cerebrovascular diseases. LA is closely related to the expression level of inflammatory factors, oxidative stress, and vascular endothelial dysfunction in patients. Vitamin E may play antioxidant and anti-inflammatory roles in various diseases. We aimed to explore the effects of vitamin E on the patients with LA.

Methods: A total of 160 patients with LA were recruited in this research. Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), MMP-2, C-reactive protein (CRP), complement 3 (C3), C4, nitric oxide (NO), and endothelin (ET) levels were evaluated by ELISA. The Mini-Mental State Examination (MMSE) was used for cognitive impairment assessment. Superoxide dismutase (SOD) and malondialdehyde (MDA) concentrations were analyzed by commercial kits.

Results: The levels of CRP, C3, and C4 significantly decreased in the serum of LA patients after the administration of vitamin E. The levels of MMP-2 and MPP-9 showed a significant decrease in the administered group. Vitamin E significantly inhibited the expression of MDA, while significantly upregulated the expression of SOD. Significant increase in NO production and significant downregulation of ET expression occurred in vitamin E groups. MMSE score was significantly increased by vitamin E.

Conclusion: In conclusion, vitamin E showed effects on the alleviation of inflammatory response, oxidative stress, endothelial damage, and cognitive dysfunction. Thus, vitamin E could be a potential drug for the clinical treatment of LA patients.

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Vitamin E-coated dialyzer alleviates erythrocyte deformability dysfunction in patients with end-stage renal disease undergoing hemodialysis

Ying Zhang, Wei Gao, Xia Li

Exp Ther Med . 2022 Jun 1;24(1):480. doi: 10.3892/etm.2022.11407. eCollection 2022 Jul.


Patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) are characterized by augmented oxidative stress (OS) due to the imbalance between the generation of increased concentrations of oxidative molecules and decreased antioxidant capacity. Vitamin E-coated dialyzer membranes (VEMs) have previously been reported to alleviate the imbalance of redox metabolism in patients with ESRD undergoing hemodialysis (HD); however, their effect on the deformability of red blood cells (RBCs) remains unknown. In the present study, 48 patients with ESRD undergoing HD were enrolled and randomly assigned into two groups: HD with VEMs (VEM group; n=24) and HD with polysulfone dialyzer membranes (PM group; n=24), and another 24 healthy volunteers served as the control group. The present study investigated the morphological changes and deformability of RBCs in patients with ESRD and healthy volunteers. The concentration of serum vitamin E, the parameters of antioxidant stress and OS, and the degree of oxidative phosphorylation and clustering of anion exchanger 1 (Band 3) in RBCs were measured. The results obtained suggested that VEM treatment markedly ameliorated the abnormalities of RBC morphology and deformability in patients with ESRD undergoing HD. Mechanistic studies showed that VEM treatment led to a marked improvement in the concentration of serum vitamin E, which was positively associated with the restored antioxidant capacity, and decreased oxidative phosphorylation and clustering of Band 3 in RBCs of patients with ESRD undergoing HD. Taken together, the results of the present study have demonstrated that VEM treatment effectively restored the imbalance of redox metabolism, and improved the oxidative phosphorylation and clustering of Band 3 in RBCs of patients with ESRD undergoing HD via delivering vitamin E, which may alleviate the abnormal morphological and mechanical properties of RBCs. These findings are anticipated to be useful with respect to improving the nursing care and cure rate of patients with ESRD.

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