Purification of the oily, nonpolar fraction of high protein barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) flour by high pressure liquid chromatography yielded 10 major components, two (I, II) of which were potent inhibitors of cholesterogenesis in vivo and in vitro. The addition of purified inhibitor I (2.5-20 ppm) to chick diets significantly decreased hepatic cholesterogenesis and serum total and low density lipoprotein cholesterol and concomitantly increased lipogenic activity. The high resolution mass spectrometric analysis and measurement of different peaks of inhibitor I gave a molecular ion at m/e 424 (C29H44O2) and main peaks at m/e 205, 203, and 165 corresponding to C13H17O2, C13H15O2, and C10H13O2 moieties, respectively. which are characteristic of d-alpha-tocotrienol. This identification was confirmed against synthetic samples. The tocotrienols are widely distributed in the plant kingdom and differ from tocopherols (vitamin E) only in three double bonds in the isoprenoid chain which appear to be essential for the inhibition of cholesterogenesis.
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