Study Title:

Consistent Tocotrienol Supplementation is Best for Maintaining Health

Study Abstract

The natural vitamin E tocotrienol (TCT) possesses biological properties not shared by tocopherols (TCP). Nanomolar alpha-TCT, not alpha-TCP, is potently neuroprotective (JBC 275:13049; 278:43508; Stroke 36:2258). The report that the affinity of TTP to bind (alpha-TCT is an order of magnitude lower than that for alpha-TCP questions the bioavailability of orally taken TCT to tissues. Oral supplementation of TCT for 3 years in nine generations of female and male rat was studied. Ten vital organs were examined. To gain insight into the turnover of alpha-TCT in tissues, a subset of supplemented rats was moved to vitamin E deficient diet for 7 weeks. Orally supplemented alpha-TCT was delivered to all vital organs including the brain and spinal cord in significant amounts. In organs such as the skin, adipose and gonads the maximum level of alpha-TCT achieved in response to supplementation was folds higher than baseline values of alpha-TCP in rats maintained on laboratory chow. Females had higher levels of alpha-TCT compared to matched tissues of corresponding males. To gain insight into how quickly alpha-TCT is metabolized in the tissues, washout of alpha-TCT from vital organs was examined. alpha-TCT accumulated in vital organs over more than 2 years was almost completely lost in less than 2 months when the supplementation was stopped. This is in sharp contrast with findings related to alpha-TCP retention. The ability of long-term oral supplementation to maintain and elevate alpha-TCT levels in vital organs together with the rapid elimination of the intact vitamin from all organs studied underscores the need for continuous oral supplementation of TCT.

Study Information

Patel V, Khanna S, Roy S, Ezziddin O, Sen CK.
Natural vitamin E alpha-tocotrienol: retention in vital organs in response to long-term oral supplementation and withdrawal.
Free Radic Res.
2006 July
Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Department of Surgery, Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute, The Ohio State University Medical Center, Columbus, OH 43210, USA.

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