Study Title:

Alpha Tocotrienol Reduces Oxidized LDL Cholesterol in Humans

Study Abstract

In vitro tocotrienols (T3s) have potent vitamin E antioxidant activity, but unlike tocopherols can inhibit cholesterol synthesis by suppressing 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutarylCoA (HMG-CoA) reductase. Because hypercholesterolemia is a major risk factor for coronary artery disease and oxidative modification of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) may be involved in atherogenesis, we investigated whether daily supplements of placebo, or alpha-, gamma-, or delta- (alpha-, gamma-, or delta-) tocotrienyl acetates would alter serum cholesterol or LDL oxidative resistance in hypercholesterolemics in a double-blind placebo controlled study. Subjects were randomly assigned to receive placebo (n = 13), alpha- (n = 13), gamma- (n = 12), or delta- (n = 13) tocotrienyl acetate supplements (250 mg/d). All subjects followed a low-fat diet for 4 weeks, then took supplements with dinner for the following 8 weeks while still continuing diet restrictions. Plasma alpha- and gamma-tocopherols were unchanged by supplementation. Plasma T3s were undetectable initially and always in the placebo group. Following supplementation in the respective groups plasma concentrations were: alpha-T3 0.98 +/- 0.80 micromol/l, gamma-T3 0.54 +/- 0.45 micromol/l, and delta-T3 0.09 +/- 0.07 micromol/l. Alpha-T3 increased in vitro LDL oxidative resistance (+22%, p <.001) and decreased its rate of oxidation (p <. 01). Neither serum or LDL cholesterol nor apolipoprotein B were significantly decreased by tocotrienyl acetate supplements. This study demonstrates that: (i) tocotrienyl acetate supplements are hydrolyzed, absorbed, and detectable in human plasma; (ii) tocotrienyl acetate supplements do not lower cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic subjects on low-fat diets; and (iii) alpha-T3 may be potent in decreasing LDL oxidizability.

Study Information

O'Byrne D, Grundy S, Packer L, Devaraj S, Baldenius K, Hoppe PP, Kraemer K, Jialal I, Traber MG.
Studies of LDL oxidation following alpha-, gamma-, or delta-tocotrienyl acetate supplementation of hypercholesterolemic humans.
Free Radic Biol Med
2000 November
Center for Human Nutrition, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, TX, USA.

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