Tocotrienols Support the Cancer Battle
Vitamin E is a generic term that refers to a family of compounds that is further divided into two subgroups called tocopherols and tocotrienols. All natural forms of tocopherols and tocotrienols are potent antioxidants that regulate peroxidation reactions and controls free radical production within the body. However, it is now firmly established that many of the biological actions mediated by individual vitamin E isoforms are not dependent on their antioxidant activity. Furthermore, synthetic ether derivatives of vitamin E that no longer possess antioxidant activity also display a wide range of biological activities. One of the most intriguing therapeutic applications for natural vitamin E and vitamin E derivatives currently being investigated is their use as anticancer agents. Specific forms of vitamin E display potent apoptotic activity against a wide range of cancer cell types, while having little or no effect on normal cell function or viability. Experimental studies have also determined that the intracellular mechanisms mediating the apoptotic effects of specific vitamin E compounds display great diversity in different types of caner cells and has been found to restore multidrug resistant tumor cells sensitivity to chemotherapeutic agents. These findings strongly suggest that some natural and synthetic analogues of vitamin E can be used effectively as anticancer therapy either alone or in combination to enhance the therapeutic efficacy and reduce toxicity of other anticancer agents.
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