Oxidative modification of low density lipoproteins (LDL) and their unrestricted scavenger receptor-dependent uptake is believed to account for cholesterol deposition in macrophage-derived foam cells. It has been suggested that vitamin E that is transported by LDL plays a critical role in protecting against LDL oxidation. We hypothesize that the maintenance of sufficiently high vitamin E concentrations in LDL can be achieved by reducing its chromanoxyl radicals, i.e., by vitamin E recycling. In this study we demonstrate that: i) chromanoxyl radicals of endogenous vitamin E and of exogenously added alpha-tocotrienol, alpha-tocopherol or its synthetic homologue with a 6-carbon side-chain, chromanol-alpha-C6, can be directly generated in human LDL by ultraviolet (UV) light, or by interaction with peroxyl radicals produced either by an enzymic oxidation system (lipoxygenase + linolenic acid) or by an azo-initiator, 2,2′-azo-bis(2,4-dimethylvaleronitrile) (AMVN; ii) ascorbate can recycle endogenous vitamin E and exogenously added chromanols by direct reduction of chromanoxyl radicals in LDL; iii) dihydrolipoic acid is not efficient in direct reduction of chromanoxyl radicals but recycles vitamin E by synergistically interacting with ascorbate (reduces dehydroascorbate thus maintaining the steady-state concentration of ascorbate); and iv) beta-carotene is not active in vitamin E recycling but may itself be protected against oxidative destruction by the reductants of chromanoxyl radicals. We suggest that the recycling of vitamin E and other phenolic antioxidants by plasma reductants may be an important mechanism for the enhanced antioxidant protection of LDL.
In this paper, we review the effects of rice bran oil (RBO), an unconventional oil recently introduced onto the Indian market for human use. RBO contains oleic acid (38.4%), linoleic acid (34.4%), and linolenic acid (2.2%) as unsaturated fatty acids, and palmitic (21.5%) and stearic (2.9%) acids as saturated fatty acids. The unsaponifiable fraction (4.2%) has total tocopherols (81.3 mg%), gamma-oryzanol (1.6%), and squalene (320 mg%). Oryzanol is a mixture of ferulic acid esters of triterpene alcohols such as cycloartenol (CA) (106 mg%) and 24-methylene cycloartanol (494 mg%). Studies on experimental rats demonstrated a hypolipidemic effect of RBO. The unsaponifiable fraction of RBO lowers cholesterol levels. Feeding phytosterols, CA, and 24-methylene cycloartanol in amounts present in RBO to hypercholesterolemic rats for 8 weeks indicates that CA alone reduces cholesterol and triglyceride levels significantly. Endogenous sterol excretion increases in animals given CA. The accumulation of CA in the liver inhibits cholesterol esterase activity, which in turn leads to reduction in circulating cholesterol levels. CA is structurally similar to cholesterol and may compete with the binding sites of cholesterol and sequestrate cholesterol, which is metabolized to its derivatives. RBO, which is rich in tocopherols and tocotrienols, may improve oxidative stability. Tocotrienols inhibit HMG CoA reductase, resulting in hypocholesterolemia. The hypolipidemic effect of RBO has also been established in human subjects. Thus, RBO could be a suitable edible oil for patients with hyperlipidemia.
A double-blind, crossover, 8-wk study was conducted to compare effects of the tocotrienol-enriched fraction of palm oil (200 mg palmvitee capsules/day) with those of 300 mg corn oil/d on serum lipids of hypercholesterolemic human subjects (serum cholesterol 6.21-8.02 mmol/L). Concentrations of serum total cholesterol (-15%), LDL cholesterol (-8%), Apo B (-10%), thromboxane (-25%), platelet factor 4 (-16%), and glucose (-12%) decreased significantly only in the 15 subjects given palmvitee during the initial 4 wk. The crossover confirmed these actions of palmvitee. There was a carry over effect of palmvitee. Serum cholesterol concentrations of seven hypercholesterolemic subjects (greater than 7.84 mmol/L) decreased 31% during a 4-wk period in which they were given 200 mg gamma-tocotrienol/d. This indicates that gamma-tocotrienol may be the most potent cholesterol inhibitor in palmvitee capsules. The results of this pilot study are very encouraging.
Normolipemic and genetically hypercholesterolemic pigs of defined lipoprotein genotype were fed a standard diet supplemented with 50 micrograms/gtocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) isolated from palm oil. Hypercholesterolemic pigs fed the TRF supplement showed a 44% decrease in total serum cholesterol, a 60% decrease in low-density-lipoprotein (LDL)-cholesterol, and significant decreases in levels of apolipoprotein B (26%), thromboxane-B2 (41%), and platelet factor 4 (PF4; 29%). The declines in thromboxane B2 and PF4 suggest that TRF has a marked protective effect on the endothelium and platelet aggregation. The effect of the lipid-lowering diet persisted only in the hypercholesterolemic swine after 8 wk feeding of the control diet. These results support observations from previous studies on lowering plasma cholesterol in animals by tocotrienols, which are naturally occurring compounds in grain and palm oils and may have some effect on lowering plasma cholesterol in humans.
The effect of a capsulated palm-oil-vitamin E concentrate (palmvitee) on human serum and lipoprotein lipids was assessed. Each palmvitee capsule contains approximately 18, approximately 42, and approximately 240 mg of tocopherols, tocotrienols, and palm olein, respectively. All volunteers took one palmvitee capsule per day for 30 consecutive days. Overnight fasting blood was taken from each volunteer before and after the experiment. Serum lipids and lipoproteins were analyzed by using the enzymatic CHOD-PAP method. Our results showed that palmvitee lowered both serum total cholesterol (TC) and low-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) concentrations in all the volunteers. The magnitude of reduction of serum TC ranged from 5.0% to 35.9% whereas the reduction of LDL-C values ranged from 0.9% to 37.0% when compared with their respective starting values. The effect of palmvitee on triglycerides (TGs) and HDL-C was not consistent. Our results show that the palmvitee has a hypocholesterolemic effect.