Protective effect of dietary tocotrienols against infection and inflammation-induced hyperlipidemia: An in vivo and in silico study

Salman Khan M, Akhtar S, Al-Sagair OA, Arif JM.

Phytother Res. 2011 Nov;25(11):1586-95. Epub 2011 Mar 11.

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.

The impact of dietary changes and dietary supplements on lipid profile

Huang J, Frohlich J, Ignaszewski AP.

Can J Cardiol. 2011 Jul-Aug;27(4):488-505.

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.

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

Abstract

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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δ-Tocotrienol and quercetin reduce serum levels of nitric oxide and lipid parameters in female chickens

Qureshi AA, Reis JC, Qureshi N, Papasian CJ, Morrison DC, Schaefer DM.

Lipids Health Dis. 2011 Feb 28;10:39.

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.

Results: The present results showed that supplementation of control diets with all compounds tested except riboflavin, (-) Corey lactone, and dexamethasone produced small but significant reductions in body weight gains as compared to control. (-) Corey lactone and riboflavin did not significantly impact body weight gains. Dexamethasone significantly and markedly reduced weight gain (>75%) compared to control. The serum levels of TNF-α and NO were decreased 61% – 84% (P < 0.001), and 14% – 67%, respectively, in chickens fed diets supplemented with δ-tocotrienol, quercetin, riboflavin, (-) Corey lactone, amiloride, or dexamethasone as compared to controls. Significant decreases in the levels of serum total and LDL-cholesterol were attained with δ-tocotrienol, quercetin, riboflavin and (-) Corey lactone (13% – 57%; P < 0.05), whereas, these levels were 2-fold higher in dexamethasone treated chickens as compared to controls. Parallel responses on hepatic lipid infiltration were confirmed by histological analyses. Treatments combining δ-tocotrienol with the other compounds yielded values that were lower than individual values attained with either δ-tocotrienol or the second compound. Exceptions were the significantly lower total and LDL cholesterol and triglyceride values attained with the δ-tocotrienol/(-) Corey lactone treatment and the significantly lower triglyceride value attained with the δ-tocotrienol/riboflavin treatment. δ-Tocotrienol attenuated the lipid-elevating impact of dexamethasone and potentiated the triglyceride lowering impact of riboflavin. Microarray analyses of liver samples identified 62 genes whose expressions were either up-regulated or down-regulated by all compounds suggesting common impact on serum TNF-α and NO levels. The microarray analyses further identified 41 genes whose expression was differentially impacted by the compounds shown to lower serum lipid levels and dexamethasone, associated with markedly elevated serum lipids.

Conclusion: This is the first report describing the anti-inflammatory effects of δ-tocotrienol, quercetin, riboflavin, (-) Corey lactone, amiloride, and dexamethasone on serum TNF-δ and NO levels. Serum TNF-δ levels were decreased by >60% by each of the experimental compounds. Additionally, all the treatments except with dexamethasone, resulted in lower serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The impact of above mentioned compounds on the factors evaluated herein was increased when combined with δ-tocotrienol.

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Gamma delta tocotrienols reduce hepatic triglyceride synthesis and VLDL secretion

Zaiden N, Yap WN, Ong S, Xu CH, Teo VH, Chang CP, Zhang XW, Nesaretnam K, Shiba S, Yap YL.

J Atheroscler Thromb. 2010 Oct 27;17(10):1019-32.

Abstract

Aim: Present study aimed to elucidate the suppression of serum lipids by gamma- and delta-tocotrienol (γδT3).

Methods: The lipid-lowering effects of γδT3 were investigated using HepG2 liver cell line, hypercholesterolemic mice and borderline-high cholesterol patients.

Results: In-vitro results demonstrated two modes of action. First, γδT3 suppressed the upstream regulators of lipid homeostasis genes (DGAT2, APOB100, SREBP1/2 and HMGCR) leading to the suppression of triglycerides, cholesterol and VLDL biosyntheses. Second, γδT3 enhanced LDL efflux through induction of LDL receptor (LDLr) expression. Treatment of LDLr-deficient mice with 1 mg/day (50 mg/kg/day) γδT3 for one-month showed 28%, 19% reduction in cholesterol and triglyceride levels respectively, whereas HDL level was unaltered. The lipid-lowering effects were not affected by alpha-tocopherol (αTP). In a placebo-controlled human trial using 120 mg/day γδT3, only serum triglycerides were lowered by 28% followed by concomitant reduction in the triglyceride-rich VLDL and chylomicrons. In contrast, total cholesterol, LDL and HDL remained unchanged in treated and placebo groups. The discrepancies between in-vitro, in-vivo and human studies may be attributed to the differential rates of post-absorptive γδT3 degradation and LDL metabolism.

Conclusion: Reduction in triglycerides synthesis and transport may be the primary benefit caused by ingesting γδT3 in human.

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Tocotrienol enriched palm oil prevents atherosclerosis through modulating the activities of peroxisome proliferators-activated receptors

Li F, Tan W, Kang Z, Wong CW.

Atherosclerosis. 2010 Jul;211(1):278-82. Epub 2010 Jan 25.

Palm oil is enriched in vitamin E in the form of alpha-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienols. Dietary tocotrienol supplements have been shown to prevent atherosclerosis development in patients and preclinical animal models. However, the mechanistic basis for this health beneficial effect is not well established. Peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors alpha, gamma, and delta (PPARalpha, PPARgamma, and PPARdelta) are ligand regulated transcription factors that play essential preventive roles in the development of atherosclerosis through regulating energy metabolism and inflammation. In this study, we presented data that the tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) of palm oil activated PPARalpha, PPARgamma, and PPARdelta in reporter based assays. Importantly, TRF attenuated the development of atherosclerosis in ApoE-/- mice through inducing PPAR target gene liver X receptor alpha (LXRalpha) and its down-stream target genes apolipoproteins and cholesterol transporters, suggesting that modulating the activities of PPARs is a key aspect of the in vivo action of tocotrienols.

Red palm oil: Nutritional, physiological and therapeutic roles in improving human wellbeing and quality of life

Oguntibeju OO, Esterhuyse AJ, Truter EJ.

Br J Biomed Sci. 2009;66(4):216-22.

The link between dietary fats and cardiovascular disease has created a growing interest in dietary red palm oil research. Also, the link between nutrition and health, oxidative stress and the severity or progression of disease has stimulated further interest in the potential role of red palm oil (a natural antioxidant product) to improve oxidative status by reducing oxidative stress in patients with cardiovascular disease, cancer and other chronic diseases. In spite of its level of saturated fatty acid content (50%), red palm oil has not been found to promote atherosclerosis and/or arterial thrombosis. This is probably due to the ratio of its saturated fatty acid to unsaturated fatty acid content and its high concentration of antioxidants such as beta-carotene, tocotrienols, tocopherols and vitamin E. It has also been reported that the consumption of red palm oil reduces the level of endogenous cholesterol, and this seems to be due to the presence of the tocotrienols and the peculiar isomeric position of its fatty acids. The benefits of red palm oil to health include a reduction in the risk of arterial thrombosis and/or atherosclerosis, inhibition of endogenous cholesterol biosynthesis, platelet aggregation, a reduction in oxidative stress and a reduction in blood pressure. It has also been shown that dietary red palm oil, taken in moderation in animals and humans, promotes the efficient utilisation of nutrients, activates hepatic drug metabolising enzymes, facilitates the haemoglobinisation of red blood cells and improves immune function. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the nutritional, physiological and biochemical roles of red palm oil in improving wellbeing and quality of life.

A rice bran oil diet improves lipid abnormalities and suppress hyperinsulinemic responses in rats with streptozotocin/nicotinamide-induced type 2 diabetes

Chou TW, Ma CY, Cheng HH, Chen YY, Lai MH.

J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2009 Jul;45(1):29-36. Epub 2009 Jun 30.

The aim of this study was to determine the effects of rice bran oil (RBO) on lipid metabolism and insulin resistance in rats with streptozotocin/nicotinamide-induced type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM). Rats were divided into two groups: the control group (15% soybean oil, contains 0 g gamma-oryzanol and 0 g gamma-tocotrienol/150 g oil for 5 weeks) and the RBO group (15% RBO, contains 5.25 g gamma-oryzanol and 0.9 g gamma-tocotrienol/150 g oil for 5 weeks). Compared with the control group, the RBO group had a lower plasma nonesterified fatty acid concentration, ratio of total to high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol, hepatic cholesterol concentration, and area under the curve for insulin. The RBO group had a higher high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol concentration and greater excretion of fecal neutral sterols and bile acid than did the control group. RBO may improve lipid abnormalities, reduce the atherogenic index, and suppress the hyperinsulinemic response in rats with streptozotocin/nicotinamide-induced T2DM. In addition, RBO can lead to increased fecal neutral sterol and bile acid excretion.

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Influence of pasture intake on the fatty acid composition, and cholesterol, tocopherols, and tocotrienols content in meat from free-range broilers

Ponte PI, Alves SP, Bessa RJ, Ferreira LM, Gama LT, Brás JL, Fontes CM, Prates JA.

Poult Sci. 2008 Jan;87(1):80-8.

Over the last centuries, Western diets acquired a dramatic imbalance in the ratio of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) to saturated fatty acids (SFA) with a concomitant reduction in the dietary proportion of n-3 PUFA. Pastures are a good source of n-3 fatty acids, although the effect of forage intake in the fatty acid profile of meat from free-range chicken remains to be evaluated. In addition, it is unknown if consumer interest in specialty poultry products derived from free-range or organic production systems is accompanied by a greater nutritional quality of these products. In this study, broilers of the RedBro Cou Nu x RedBro M genotype were fed on a cereal-based diet in portable floorless pens located either on subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) or white clover (Trifolium repens) pastures. Control birds were maintained at the same site in identical pens but had no access to pasture. The capacity of ingested forage to modulate broiler meat fatty acid profiles and the meat content of total cholesterol, tocopherols, and tocotrienols was investigated in broiler chicks slaughtered at d 56. The results suggested that pasture intake (<5% DM) had a low impact on the fatty acid and vitamin E homologue profiles of meat from free-range broilers. However, breast meat from birds with free access to pasture presented lower levels of the n-6 and n-3 fatty acid precursors linoleic acid (18:2n-6) and alpha-linolenic acid (18:3n-3), respectively. In spring the levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (20:5n-3) in breast meat were significantly greater in birds consuming pastures, which suggests greater conversion of alpha-linolenic acid into eicosapentaenoic acid in these birds. Finally, when compared with meat from slower-growing genotypes obtained under the conventional European free-range production systems with slaughtering at d 81, meat from birds of the Ross genotype raised intensively and slaughtered at d 35 seemed to have greater nutritional quality.

Effect of citrus flavonoids and tocotrienols on serum cholesterol levels in hypercholesterolemic subjects

James M. Roza, CN; Zheng Xian-Liu, PhD; Najla Guthrie

Altern Ther Health Med. 2007 Nov-Dec;13(6):44-8

Context • Preliminary studies have suggested that both citrus flavonoids and palm tocotrienols reduce cholesterol levels in laboratory animals.

Objective • To examine the effect of these nutrients in combination on blood levels of cholesterol and related cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Design • Two open-label studies and 1 double-blind study are reported.

Setting • Outpatient clinical research setting.

Patients • Three groups (n=10, n=10, n=120) of hypercholesterolemic men and women (cholesterol levels >230 mg/dL) between the ages of 19 and 65 years were recruited.

Intervention • Subjects were randomized to consume either 270 mg citrus flavonoids plus 30 mg tocotrienols (S) or placebo (P) daily for a period of 4 weeks (group 1 [G1] and group 2[G2]) or 12 weeks (group 3 [G3]).

Main Outcome Measures • Measurements of fasting levels of blood cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), high-density lipoprotein (HDL), and triglycerides were made at baseline and 4 weeks (all groups) and at 8 weeks and 12 weeks (G3).

Results • Daily treatment with S significantly improved cardiovascular parameters compared to P in all groups. Significant reductions were shown in total cholesterol (20%-30%), LDL (19%-27%), apolipoprotein B (21%), and triglycerides (24%-34%). HDL levels remained unchanged in G1 and G2 but increased 4% (nonsignificant) in G3 and was accompanied by a significant increase in apolipoprotein A1 (5%).