The plasma antioxidant vitamin status of the INTAPP cohort examined: The unsuspected importance of β-carotene and γ-tocopherol in preeclampsia

Jean-François Bilodeau, Amélie Gagné, Karine Greffard, François Audibert, William D Fraser, Pierre Julien

Pregnancy Hypertens . 2021 Aug;25:213-218. doi: 10.1016/j.preghy.2021.06.009. Epub 2021 Jun 12.


Objective: Examine the levels of plasma antioxidant vitamins before and during a treatment with placebo or vitamin E + C supplement to prevent preeclampsia (PE).

Study design: Per-protocol analysis of a subset group of pregnant women (n = 295) from the International Trial of Antioxidants for the Prevention of PE (INTAPP) randomized case-control study. Normotensive receiving placebo or vitamins (n = 115 and 87 respectively) were compared to gestational hypertension (GH) without proteinuria (n = 30 and 27) and PE (n = 21 and 15). Vitamin quantification was performed at 12-18, 24-26 and 32-34 weeks of gestation.

Main outcome measures: Coenzyme (Co) Q10, β-carotene and vitamins E (α and γ forms) plasma levels.

Results: Vitamin E + C supplementation was found to increase the α-tocopherol levels by 40% but was associated with a 57% decrease in the γ-tocopherol isoform for all study groups (p < 0.001). The β -carotene was lower in the PE than in the normotensive and GH groups (p < 0.001) while the level of CoQ10 remained unaffected.

Conclusions: A more personalized approach that target the suboptimal levels of specific antioxidants without disturbing the α/γ-tocopherol ratio could be a more successful approach to counteract oxidative stress in PE.

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Effect of δ-Tocopherol on Mice Adipose Tissues and Mice Adipocytes Induced Inflammation

Chikako Kiyose, Haruka Takeuchi, Yoshimi Yabe, Tomoki Nojima, Mana Nagase, Chie Takahashi-Muto, Rieko Tanaka-Yachi

J Oleo Sci . 2021 Aug 6. doi: 10.5650/jos.ess21124. Online ahead of print.


The study aim was to evaluate the potential anti-inflammatory effects of vitamin E analogs, especially α-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol. We used male C57BL/6JJcl mice, which were divided into four groups: the control (C), high-fat and high-sucrose diet (H), high-fat and high-sucrose diet+α-tocopherol (Ha) and high-fat and high-sucrose diet+δ-tocopherol (Hd) groups. The mice were fed for 16 weeks. To the high-fat and high-sucrose diet, 800 mg/kg of α-tocopherol or δ-tocopherol was added more. The final body weight was significantly higher in the H group than in the C group. On the other hand, the final body weight was drastically lower in the Ha group and Hd group than in the H group. However, the energy intake was not significantly different among all groups. Therefore, we assumed that α-tocopherol and δ-tocopherol have potential anti-obesity effect. Besides, inflammatory cytokine gene expression was significantly higher in the epididymal fat of the H group than in the C group. These results showed that inflammation was induced by epididymal fat of mice fed a high-fat and high-sucrose diet for 16 weeks. Unfortunately, addition of α-tocopherol or δ-tocopherol to the diet did not restrain inflammation of epididymal fat. Investigation of the anti-inflammatory effects of α-tocopherol or δ-tocopherol in co-cultured 3T3-L1 cells and RAW264.7 cells showed that δ-tocopherol inhibited increased gene expression of the inflammatory cytokines, IL-1β, IL-6, and iNOS. These results suggest that an anti-inflammatory effect in the δ-tocopherol is stronger than that in the α-tocopherol in vitro. We intend to perform an experiment by in vivo sequentially in the future.

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Supplementation of antihypertensive drug regimen with vitamin E ameliorates alterations of primary haemodynamic parameters and total antioxidant capacity in ovariectomised rats

Temitayo Olabisi Ajibade, Foluso B Bolaji-Alabi, Ademola Adetokunbo Oyagbemi, Ifeoluwa W Ajileye, Temidayo Olutayo Omobowale

J Basic Clin Physiol Pharmacol . 2021 Aug 6. doi: 10.1515/jbcpp-2020-0097. Online ahead of print.


Objectives: Ovariectomy induces heightened response to vasoconstrictors, alters vasorelaxation and consequently causes hypertension due to increased oxidative stress in rats.

Methods: This study evaluated the ameliorative effects of ramipril and vitamin E, on primary haemodynamic parameters and cardiac antioxidant defence status, in ovariectomised rats using 64 adult female rats of the Wistar strain randomly divided as follows: Control (sham); Ovariectomised (OVX); OVX plus Ramipril; OVX plus vitamin E; and OVX plus Ramipril plus vitamin E.

Results: The plasma level of oestrogen was significantly lower (p<0.05), in the ovariectomised rats compared with the sham. The systolic, diastolic and mean arterial blood pressure of ovariectomised rats increased significantly (p<0.05), but the alteration was significantly reduced by the administration of ramipril alone or in combination with vitamin E. Significant decrease (p<0.05) was observed in the serum level of nitric oxide in OVX group compared with Sham. Also, analysed markers of oxidative stress: Malondialdehyde (MDA) contents and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) generated decreased significantly (p<0.05), but systemic antioxidants: reduced glutathione (GSH) contents; glutathione peroxidase (GPx) and superoxide dismutase (SOD) activities increased significantly (p<0.05) in the ovariectomised rats treated with ramipril and vitamin E compared with untreated ovariectomised rats. The study concludes that alteration, in the primary haemodynamic parameters, associated with ovariectomy in rats is potently ameliorated by co-administration of the antihypertensive drug ramipril and vitamin E.

Conclusions: The supplementation of antihypertensive regimen with antioxidants such as vitamin E in the treatment of hypertension is therefore justifiable especially in ovariectomised or hypogonadal patients.

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High cholesterol diet activates ER stress mediated apoptosis in testes tissue: Role of α-tocopherol

Erdi Sozen, Tugce Demirel-Yalciner, M Kutay Koroglu, Merve Acikel Elmas, Feriha Ercan, Nesrin Kartal Ozer

IUBMB Life . 2021 Aug 4. doi: 10.1002/iub.2535. Online ahead of print.


The seminiferous tubules where spermatogenesis occurs are enveloped and protected by the Sertoli cells to support germ cells undergoing meiosis to produce haploid gametes. Clearly, induction of apoptosis in seminiferous tubules leads to abnormalities in spermatogenesis and male infertility. Studies demonstrated that increased hyperlipidemia impairs male infertility and spermatogenesis by enhancing seminiferous tubules apoptosis. However, molecular mechanisms underlying high-cholesterol-mediated testicular damage remain poorly elucidated. In this scope, we established a rabbit model and investigated the role of endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress on high cholesterol diet induced seminiferous tubule apoptosis. Histopatological examinations revealed increased seminifer tubule apoptosis in testes of rabbits fed high cholesterol diet. In addition, phosphorylated forms of IRE1 and PERK, two well-identified markers of ER stress, were significantly induced in accordance with high cholesterol diet. High cholesterol diet also exhibited CHOP induction in testes, indicating increased ER stress related apoptosis. Supplementation of α-tocopherol significantly attenuated cholesterol mediated ER stress, and restored seminiferous tubules apoptosis. Taken together, our findings suggest that α-tocopherol might be capable to reduce testicular damage via ameliorating histopatological features and inhibiting seminiferous tubules apoptosis in hypercholesterolemic rabbits.

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Association of measures of body fat with serum alpha-tocopherol and its metabolites in middle-aged individuals

Fleur L Meulmeester, Jiao Luo, Leon G Martens, Nadia Ashrafi, Renée de Mutsert, Dennis O Mook-Kanamori, Hildo J Lamb, Frits R Rosendaal, Ko Willems van Dijk, Kevin Mills, Diana van Heemst, Raymond Noordam

Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis . 2021 Jul 22;31(8):2407-2415. doi: 10.1016/j.numecd.2021.05.001. Epub 2021 May 18.


Background and aims: The accumulation of fat increases the formation of lipid peroxides, which are partly scavenged by alpha-tocopherol (α-TOH). Here, we aimed to investigate the associations between different measures of (abdominal) fat and levels of urinary α-TOH metabolites in middle-aged individuals.

Methods and results: In this cross-sectional analysis in the Netherlands Epidemiology of Obesity study (N = 511, 53% women; mean [SD] age of 55 [6.1] years), serum α-TOH and α-TOH metabolites from 24-h urine were measured as alpha-tocopheronolactone hydroquinone (α-TLHQ, oxidized) and alpha-carboxymethyl-hydroxychroman (α-CEHC, enzymatically converted) using liquid-chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Body mass index and total body fat were measured, and abdominal subcutaneous and visceral adipose tissue (aSAT and VAT) were assessed using magnetic resonance imaging. Using multivariable-adjusted linear regression analyses, we analysed the associations of BMI, TBF, aSAT and VAT with levels of urinary α-TOH metabolites, adjusted for confounders. We observed no evidence for associations between body fat measures and serum α-TOH. Higher BMI and TBF were associated with lower urinary levels of TLHQ (0.95 [95%CI: 0.90, 1.00] and 0.94 [0.88, 1.01] times per SD, respectively) and with lower TLHQ relative to CEHC (0.93 [0.90, 0.98] and 0.93 [0.87, 0.98] times per SD, respectively). We observed similar associations for VAT (TLHQ: 0.94 [0.89, 0.99] times per SD), but not for aSAT.

Conclusions: Opposite to our research hypothesis, higher abdominal adiposity was moderately associated with lower levels of oxidized α-TOH metabolites, which might reflect lower vitamin E antioxidative activity in individuals with higher abdominal fat instead.

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Association between serum Vitamin E concentrations and the presence of Metabolic Syndrome: A population-based cohort study

Maral Barzegar-Amini, Fateme Khorramruz, Hamideh Ghazizadeh, Reza Sahebi, Maryam Mohammadi-Bajgyran, Hossein Mohaddes Ardabili, Maryam Tayefi, Susan Darroudi, Mohsen Moohebati, Alireza Heidari-Bakavoli, Akram Mohammadi, Hamid Reza Sadeghnia, Gordon A Ferns, Seyed Javad Hoseini, Majid Ghayour Mobarhan

Acta Biomed . 2021 Jul 1;92(3):e2021047. doi: 10.23750/abm.v92i3.9173.


Background: Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a cluster of clinical and metabolic features that include central obesity, dyslipidemia, hypertension and impaired glucose tolerance. These features are accompanied by increased oxidative stress and impaired antioxidant defenses. Vitamin E is a major factor in the non-enzymatic antioxidant defenses. The aim of present study was to investigate the association between serum levels of vitamin E and the presence of MetS and its components in a sample population of Mashhad stroke and heart atherosclerotic disorder (MASHAD) cohort study.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was carried out in 128 subjects with MetS and 235 subjects without MetS. MetS was defined according to the International-Diabetes-Federation criteria. Serum levels of vitamin E were measured using the HPLC method. Anthropometric and biochemical parameters were measured using standard protocols. Results. MetS patients had significantly lower serum levels of vitamin E (Vit E), Vit E/Total cholesterol (TC), and Vit E/ (TC+triglyceride(TG)) compared to the control group (P < 0.05). Vit E/ (TG+TC) was also significantly lower in diabetics or those with elevated levels of high sensitive C-reactive protein (hs-CRP). Additionally, there was a significant association between Vit E/ (TG + Total Cho) and the number of components of the metabolic syndrome (p= 0.02) Conclusions. There is a significant inverse association between indices of Vit E status and the presence of MetS. Moreover, a significantly lower Vit E/ (TC+TG) was observed along with individuals with increasing numbers of components of the MetS.

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Endogenous vitamin E metabolites mediate allosteric PPARγ activation with unprecedented co-regulatory interactions

Sabine Willems, Leonie Gellrich, Apirat Chaikuad, Stefan Kluge, Oliver Werz, Jan Heering, Stefan Knapp, Stefan Lorkowski, Manfred Schubert-Zsilavecz, Daniel Merk

Cell Chem Biol . 2021 May 12;S2451-9456(21)00212-9. doi: 10.1016/j.chembiol.2021.04.019. Online ahead of print.


Vitamin E exhibits pharmacological effects beyond established antioxidant activity suggesting involvement of unidentified mechanisms. Here, we characterize endogenously formed tocopherol carboxylates and the vitamin E mimetic garcinoic acid (GA) as activators of the peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma (PPARγ). Co-stimulation of PPARγ with GA and the orthosteric agonist pioglitazone resulted in additive transcriptional activity. In line with this, the PPARγ-GA complex adopted a fully active conformation and interestingly contained two bound GA molecules with one at an allosteric site. A co-regulator interaction scan demonstrated an unanticipated co-factor recruitment profile for GA-bound PPARγ compared with canonical PPARγ agonists and gene expression analysis revealed different effects of GA and pioglitazone on PPAR signaling in hepatocytes. These observations reveal allosteric mechanisms of PPARγ modulation as an alternative avenue to PPARγ targeting and suggest contributions of PPARγ activation by α-13-tocopherolcarboxylate to the pharmacological effects of vitamin E.

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The effects of tocotrienols intake on obesity, blood pressure, inflammation, liver and glucose biomarkers: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials

Fengxiang Li, Biao Xu, Samira Soltanieh, Fernando Zanghelini, Ahmed Abu-Zaid, Jian Sun

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr . 2021 Apr 28;1-14. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2021.1911926. Online ahead of print.


The objective of this study is to accomplish a systematic review and meta-analysis of all randomized controlled trials that dissected the influence of tocotrienol supplementation on various anthropometric and cardiometabolic indices in all individuals, irrespective of health condition. This research was carried out in line with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) statement guidelines. 17 eligible articles were included in the final quantitative analysis. Current study revealed that tocotrienol consumption was not associated with CRP, WC, MDA, BMI, IL-6, HbA1C, ALT, AST, creatinine TNF-α, FPG, BW, DBP, and SBP. We did observe an overall increase in BW (SMD: 0.063 kg, 95% CI: -0.200, 0.327, p = 0.637) and DBP (SMD: 0.249 mmHg, 95% CI: 0.053, 0.446, p = 0.013). In addition, a significant reduction in SBP was observed (SMD: -0.616 mmHg, 95% CI: -1.123, -0.110, p = 0.017). In summary, our meta-analysis revealed that tocotrienol consumption was associated with increase in BW and DBP and decrease in SBP. Significant associations were not observed for other outcomes.

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Inhibition of 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid biosynthesis by vitamin E analogs in human and bovine cytochrome P450 microsomes

Matthew J Kuhn, Lorraine M Sordillo

J Anim Physiol Anim Nutr (Berl) . 2021 Apr 14. doi: 10.1111/jpn.13547. Online ahead of print.


Dairy cattle are predisposed to disease around the time of calving due to dysfunctional inflammatory responses. Oxylipids are lipid-derived mediators that regulate all aspects of the inflammatory response, and shifts in oxylipid profiles are correlated with disease risk. For example, 20-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (HETE) is an oxylipid derived from cytochrome P450 enzymes (CYP450) found at significantly greater concentrations around calving and during clinical disease. Biosynthesis of 20-HETE occurs almost exclusively from two specific CYP450 of which CYP450 family four sub-family F member two (CYP4F2) is the major contributor to 20-HETE production in humans. To further study the activities of 20-HETE and potentially reduce its production in vivo, mitigation methods must be explored. Additional substrates of CYP4F2, such as vitamin E, are known to both increase and decrease the metabolism of other CYP4F2 substrates. This study aimed to determine whether vitamin E analogs may reduce the production of 20-HETE through competition for CYP4F2 activity in human CYP4F2, bovine-kidney and bovine-mammary microsomes. Gamma-tocopherol reduced 20-HETE production from human and bovine-kidney microsomes (35.3% and 27.5%, respectively) whereas γ-tocotrienol only reduced 20-HETE production from human microsomes (40.1%). Finally, bovine-mammary microsomes did not produce a quantifiable amount of 20-HETE, suggesting basal mammary CYP4F2 activity may not be a significant contributor to 20-HETE found in milk. Together, these data show that analogs of vitamin E can reduce the production of 20-HETE, potentially through competition with arachidonic acid for metabolism by CYP4F2, posing a potential means for limiting 20-HETE production during clinical diseases of dairy cattle.

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The Combination of Berberine, Tocotrienols and Coffee Extracts Improves Metabolic Profile and Liver Steatosis by the Modulation of Gut Microbiota and Hepatic miR-122 and miR-34a Expression in Mice

Valentina Cossiga, Vincenzo Lembo, Cecilia Nigro, Paola Mirra, Claudia Miele, Valeria D'Argenio, Alessia Leone, Giovanna Mazzone, Iolanda Veneruso, Maria Guido, Francesco Beguinot, Nicola Caporaso, Filomena Morisco

Nutrients . 2021 Apr 13;13(4):1281. doi: 10.3390/nu13041281.


Non-alcoholic-fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is spreading worldwide. Specific drugs for NAFLD are not yet available, even if some plant extracts show beneficial properties. We evaluated the effects of a combination, composed by Berberis Aristata, Elaeis Guineensis and Coffea Canephora, on the development of obesity, hepatic steatosis, insulin-resistance and on the modulation of hepatic microRNAs (miRNA) levels and microbiota composition in a mouse model of liver damage. C57BL/6 mice were fed with standard diet (SD, n = 8), high fat diet (HFD, n = 8) or HFD plus plant extracts (HFD+E, n = 8) for 24 weeks. Liver expression of miR-122 and miR-34a was evaluated by quantitativePCR. Microbiome analysis was performed on cecal content by 16S rRNA sequencing. HFD+E-mice showed lower body weight (p < 0.01), amelioration of insulin-sensitivity (p = 0.021), total cholesterol (p = 0.014), low-density-lipoprotein-cholesterol (p < 0.001), alanine-aminotransferase (p = 0.038) and hepatic steatosis compared to HFD-mice. While a decrease of hepatic miR-122 and increase of miR-34a were observed in HFD-mice compared to SD-mice, both these miRNAs had similar levels to SD-mice in HFD+E-mice. Moreover, a different microbial composition was found between SD- and HFD-mice, with a partial rescue of dysbiosis in HFD+E-mice. This combination of plant extracts had a beneficial effect on HFD-induced NAFLD by the modulation of miR-122, miR-34a and gut microbiome.

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