Tocotrienol in the Management of Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease: A Systematic Review.
The increasing burden of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) requires innovative management strategies, but an effective pharmacological agent has yet to be found. Apart from weight loss and lifestyle adjustments, one isomer of the vitamin E family-alpha-tocopherol-is currently recommended for nondiabetic steatohepatitis patients. Another member of the vitamin E family, tocotrienol (T3), has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that reach beyond those of alpha-tocopherol, making it a potential agent for use in NAFLD management. This systematic review aimed to provide an overview of the effects of T3 supplementation on NAFLD from both clinical and preclinical perspectives. A literature search was performed in October 2022 using PubMed, Scopus and Web of Science. Original research articles reporting NAFLD outcomes were included in this review. The search located 12 articles (8 animal studies and 4 human studies). The literature reports state that T3 isomers or natural mixtures (derived from palm or annatto) improved NAFLD outcomes (liver histology, ultrasound or liver profile). However, the improvement depended on the severity of NAFLD, study period and type of intervention (isomers/mixture of different compositions). Mechanistically, T3 improved lipid metabolism and prevented liver steatosis, and reduced mitochondrial and endoplasmic reticulum stress, inflammation and ultimately liver fibrosis. In summary, T3 could be a potential agent for use in managing NAFLD, pending more comprehensive preclinical and human studies.