The present study was carried out to investigate the effect of vitamin E analogs, especially gamma-tocotrienol (gamma-T3), on hepatic TG accumulation and enzymes related to fatty acid metabolism in three types of rat primary hepatocytes: (1) normal hepatocytes, (2) hepatocytes incubated in the presence of palmitic acid (PA), and (3) hepatocytes with fat accumulation. Our results showed that gamma-T3 significantly reduced the TG content of normal hepatocytes. gamma-T3 also increased the expression of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1 (CPT1A) mRNA, and tended to reduce that of sterol regulatory element binding protein 1c (SREBP-1c) mRNA. In addition, gamma-T3 markedly suppressed the gene expression of both C/EBP homologous protein (CHOP) and SREBP-1c induced by PA. As these two genes are located downstream of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, their suppression by gamma-T3 might result from a decrease of ER stress. Moreover, gamma-T3 suppressed the expression of interleukin 1beta (IL-1beta), which lies downstream of CHOP signaling. Taken together, our data suggest that gamma-T3 might prevent hepatic steatosis and ameliorate ER stress and subsequent inflammation in the liver.
Tocotrienols have been reported to improve lipid profiles, reduce atherosclerotic lesions, decrease blood glucose and glycated haemoglobin concentrations, normalise blood pressure in vivo and inhibit adipogenesis in vitro, yet their role in the metabolic syndrome has not been investigated. In this study, we investigated the effects of palm tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on high carbohydrate, high fat diet-induced metabolic, cardiovascular and liver dysfunction in rats. Rats fed a high carbohydrate, high fat diet for 16 weeks developed abdominal obesity, hypertension, impaired glucose and insulin tolerance with increased ventricular stiffness, lower systolic function and reduced liver function. TRF treatment improved ventricular function, attenuated cardiac stiffness and hypertension, and improved glucose and insulin tolerance, with reduced left ventricular collagen deposition and inflammatory cell infiltration. TRF improved liver structure and function with reduced plasma liver enzymes, inflammatory cell infiltration, fat vacuoles and balloon hepatocytes. TRF reduced plasma free fatty acid and triglyceride concentrations but only omental fat deposition was decreased in the abdomen. These results suggest that tocotrienols protect the heart and liver, and improve plasma glucose and lipid profiles with minimal changes in abdominal obesity in this model of human metabolic syndrome.
Background: Dysregulated immune function associated with ageing has been implicated in a variety of human diseases. We have demonstrated the anti-inflammatory properties of resveratrol, pterostilbene, morin hydrate, quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, riboflavinin a variety of experimental animal models, and determined that these compounds act by inhibiting proteasome activity.
Aims: To determine whether serum nitric oxide (NO) levels increase with age in humans, and whether the combined cholesterol-lowering and inflammation-reducing properties of resveratrol, pterostilbene, Morin hydrate, quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, riboflavin, and nicotinic acid would reduce cardiovascular risk factors in humans when used as nutritional supplements with, or without, other dietary changes.
Methods: Elderly human subjects were stratified into two groups based on total serum cholesterol levels. Initial total serum cholesterol levels were normal and elevated in Group 1 and 2 subjects, respectively. Baseline serum NO, C-reactive protein (CRP), γ-glutamyltransferase (γ-GT) activity, uric acid, total antioxidant status (TAS), total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, and triglycerides levels were established over a four week period. Group 1 subjects subsequently received nutritional supplementation with one of two different combinations (NS-7 = 25 mg of each, resveratrol, pterostilbene, quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, nicotinic acid, morin hydrate or NS-6 = morin hydrate replaced with quercetin, 50 mg/capsule). Group 2 subjects also received these nutritional supplements (two capsules/d), but an AHA Step-1 diet was also implemented. After these interventions were administered for four weeks, the above parameters were re-measured and changes from baseline levels determined. Nitric acid (NO) levels in children, young adults, and seniors were also compared.
Results: The key results of the current study were: 1) that serum NO levels were significantly increased in seniors compared to both children (~80%) and young adults (~65%); 2) that the intake of two capsules/d of NS-7 or NS-6 for four weeks significantly (P < 0.05) decreased serum NO (39%, 24%), CRP (19%, 21%), uric acid (6%, 12%) levels, and γ-GT activity (8%, 6%), respectively in free-living healthy seniors; 3) that serum NO (36%, 29%), CRP (29%, 20%), uric acid (6%, 9%) γ-GT activity (9%, 18%), total cholesterol (8%, 11%), LDL-cholesterol (10%, 13%), and triglycerides (16%, 23%) levels were significantly (P < 0.02) decreased in hypercholesterolemic subjects restricted to AHA Step-1 diet plus intake of SN-7 or SN-6 (two capsules/d), respectively; 4) that TAS was increased (3%, 9%; P < 0.05) in free-living healthy seniors receiving NS-7 or NS-6 alone, and in hypercholesterolemic subjects plus AHA Step-1 diet (20%, 12%; P < 0.02) with either of the combinations tested.
Conclusion: Serum NO levels are elevated in elderly humans compared to children or young adults. Diet supplementation with combinations of resveratrol, pterostilbene, morin hydrate, quercetin, δ-tocotrienol, riboflavin, and nicotinic acid reduce cardiovascular risk factors in humans when used as nutritional supplements with, or without, other dietary changes.
Tocotrienol (T3) is an important phytonutrient found in rice bran and palm oil. T3 has gained much interest for lipid lowering effects, especially for cholesterol (Cho) by inhibiting 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase. Also, usefulness of T3 in improving triglyceride (TG) profiles has been suggested, but its efficacy and mechanism have been unclear. We investigated how T3 decreases TG concentration in cultured cells and animals. In a cell culture study, human hepatoma cells (HepG2) were incubated in a control or a fat (1 mM oleic acid)-loaded medium containing γ-T3 for 24 h. We found that 10-15 μM γ-T3 inhibited cellular TG accumulation significantly, especially in the fat-loaded medium. This manifestation was supported by mRNA and protein expressions of fatty acid synthase, carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1, and cytochrome P450 3A4. In concordance with these results, rice bran T3 supplementation to F344 rats (5 or 10 mg T3/day/rat) receiving a high fat diet for 3 weeks significantly reduced TG and the oxidative stress marker (phospholipid hydroperoxides, PLOOH) in the liver and blood plasma. T3 supplementation did not show changes in the Cho level. These results provided new information and the mechanism of the TG-lowering effect of T3. The lipid lowering effects of dietary T3 might be mediated by the reduction of TG synthesis.
Most clinical trials with vitamin E could not lower cholesterol and thus, have been deemed unsuccessful. Recently, tocotrienols, isomers of vitamin E have been found to lower LDL levels. To explore if tocotrienols could be the drug target for vitamin E, rabbits were kept on cholesterol diet for 60 days supplemented with tocotrienol-α, tocotrienol-δ, and tocotrienol-γ for the last 30 days. The serum cholesterol levels (in mmol/l) were 24.4 (tocotrienol-α), 34.9 (tocotrienol-δ), 19.8 (tocotrienol-γ) vs. 39.7 (control). Left ventricular function including aortic flow and developed pressure exhibited significantly improved recovery with tocotrienol-γ and -α, but not with tocotrienol-δ. The myocardial infarct size showed a similar pattern: 33% (tocotrienol-α), 23% (tocotrienol-γ), and 47% (tocotrienol-δ). To examine the molecular mechanisms of cardioprotective effects, gene expression profile was determined using Atlas 1.2/1.2II followed by determination of gene profiles using PedQuest 8.3 software. Based on genomic profiles, the following cholesterol-related proteins were examined: FABP, TGF-β (cholesterol suppresses TGF-β), ET-1 (increased by hypercholesterolemia), SPOT 14 (linked with hypercholesterolemia), and matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) 2 and MMP9 (cholesterol regulates MMP2 and MMP9 expression) in the heart. Consistent with the cardioprotective effects of tocotrienol-α and -γ, these two isomers reduced ET-1, decreased MMP2 and MM9, increased TGF-β and reduced SPOT 14, while tocotrienol-δ had no effects. The results of the present study demonstrate that the two isomers of tocotrienols, α and γ, render the hypercholesterolemic hearts resistant to ischemic reperfusion injury by lowering several hypercholesterolemic proteins including MMP2, MMP9, ET-1, and SPOT 14 and upregulating TGF-β.
Introduction: Tocotrienols (T3) and tocopherols (T), both members of the natural vitamin E family have unique biological functions in humans. T3 are detected in circulating human plasma and lipoproteins, although at concentrations significantly lower than α-tocopherol (α-T). T3, especially α-T3 is known to be neuropotective at nanomolar concentrations and this study evaluated the postprandial fate of T3 and α-T in plasma and lipoproteins.
Methods: Ten healthy volunteers (5 males and 5 females) were administered a single dose of vitamin E [526 mg palm tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) or 537 mg α-T] after 7-d pre-conditioning on a T3-free diet. Blood was sampled at baseline (fasted) and 2, 4, 5, 6, 8, and 24 h after supplementation. Concentrations of T and T3 isomers in plasma, triacylglycerol-rich particles (TRP), LDL, and HDL were measured at each postprandial interval.
Results: After TRF supplementation, plasma α-T3 and γ-T3 peaked at 5 h (α-T3: 4.74 ± 1.69 μM; γ-T3: 2.73 ± 1.27 μM). δ-T3 peaked earlier at 4 h (0.53 ± 0.25 μM). In contrast, α-T peaked at 6 h (30.13 ± 2.91 μM) and 8 h (37.80 ± 3.59 μM) following supplementation with TRF and α-T, respectively. α-T was the major vitamin E isomer detected in plasma, TRP, LDL, and HDL even after supplementation with TRF (composed of 70% T3). No T3 were detected during fasted states. T3 are detected postprandially only after TRF supplementation and concentrations were significantly lower than α-T.
Conclusion: Bio-discrimination between vitamin E isomers in humans reduces the rate of T3 absorption and affects their incorporation into lipoproteins. Although low absorption of T3 into circulation may impact some of their physiological functions in humans, T3 have biological functions well below concentration noted in this study.
Currently used hypolipidemic drugs, Fluvastatin and Atorvastatin, act via inhibiting the rate-limiting enzyme 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase of the mevalonate pathway. The associated severe side-effects of these statins led us to explore the therapeutic potentials of naturally occurring Tocomin (mixture of dietary α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocotrienols). Tocomin (10 mg) was orally administered daily for 10 days before and 12 h after bacterial lipopolysaccharide (200 μg) or 24 h after zymosan (20 mg) or turpentine (0.5 mL) to Syrian hamsters. The data showed that Tocomin significantly reduced the levels of plasma and lipoprotein lipids, cholesterol, apoB, small dense (sd)-LDL as well as LDL in the hyperlipidemia-induced hamsters. Further, the mechanism of action of α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocotrienols was validated by docking studies with HMG-CoA reductase enzyme using the Molegro Virtual Docker. The inhibition of HMG-CoA reductase predicted in terms of MolDockScore and interaction energy suggest the comparative potential in the descending order: Atorvastatin > Fluvastatin ~ δ > γ > β > α. The results favor the daily intake of naturally occurring tocotrienols as dietary supplement in the prevention and treatment of infection/inflammation induced dyslipidemia compared with the hypolipidemic drugs.
With a growing number of dietary interventions that claim to improve lipid profile, it is important to ensure that these claims are evidence based. The objective of this study was to make recommendations for dietary regimens by analyzing their effectiveness and the level of evidence. We searched MEDLINE as well as the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews for nutritional studies. Meta-analyses and randomized controlled trials published in English and including data on the effect on blood lipid levels were used. Randomized controlled trials were included if they were at least 4 weeks in duration and had a minimum of 50 participants. We identified 22 different dietary interventions and reviewed 136 studies published between January 1990 and December 2009 that met our inclusion criteria. Our literature review showed that to improve lipid profile, the following regimens can be recommended fully: Mediterranean and Portfolio diets; low-fat diet; diet high in soy protein, fibre, or phytosterols; whole grain foods, and omega-3 fatty acid supplementation. The consumption of nuts, a diet high in carbohydrates and protein, green tea, and red wine, as well as the supplementation with policosanol and red yeast rice extract, can be considered for improvement of the lipid profile, while the supplements of guggulipid, garlic, chromium, vitamin C, magnesium-pyridoxal-phosphate-glutamate, tocotrienols, and absorbitol cannot be recommended.
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.
Background: Chronic, low-grade inflammation provides a link between normal ageing and the pathogenesis of age-related diseases. A series of in vitro tests confirmed the strong anti-inflammatory activities of known inhibitors of NF-κB activation (δ-tocotrienol, quercetin, riboflavin, (-) Corey lactone, amiloride, and dexamethasone). δ-Tocotrienol also suppresses β-hydroxy-β-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity (the rate-limiting step in de novo cholesterol synthesis), and concomitantly lowers serum total and LDL cholesterol levels. We evaluated these compounds in an avian model anticipating that a dietary additive combining δ-tocotrienol with quercetin, riboflavin, (-) Corey lactone, amiloride, or dexamethasone would yield greater reductions in serum levels of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and inflammatory markers (tumor necrosis factor-α [TNF-α], and nitric oxide [NO]), than that attained with the individual compounds.