Vitamin E: a dark horse at the crossroad of cancer management.

Cardenas E, Ghosh R.

It appears that the story on vitamin E and its role in human health remains incomplete. It is apparent that vitamin E supplementation involves many variables, some of which include its uptake from the intestine, the preference for α-tocopherol, transport by tocopherol specific proteins and lipid transporters and the differential metabolism of different vitamin E isoforms. The fundamental differences within population genetics can have significant implications for the effect that dietary supplementation might have on human health. When evaluating the efficacy of vitamin E prophylactic or therapeutic use in previous and future studies, it is critical to consider dosage to be administered, form of vitamin E and source (such as whether from synthetic or purified from natural sources). Further studies are needed to determine the effects of all vitamin E isoforms on cell growth, tumorigenicity, to clarify its possible use as an adjuvant to existing chemotherapeutics. The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene (ATBC) Cancer Prevention Study Group and Selenium and Vitamin E Cancer Prevention Trial (SELECT) studies along with the numerous studies of vitamin E should help guide the next chapter of vitamin E research.

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Rice bran: a novel functional ingredient.

Sharif MK, Butt MS, Anjum FM, Khan SH.

Rice (Oryza sativa) is the most important staple food for a large part of the world’s human population, especially in East and South Asia, the Middle East, Latin America, and the West Indies. It provides more than one fifth of the calories consumed worldwide by the human. It is the second leading cereal crop and staple food of half of the world’s population. It is grown in at least 114 countries with global production of 645 million tons; share of Asian farmers is about 90% of the total produce. Rice bran, brown outer layer of rice kernel, is mainly composed of pericarp, aleurone, subaleurone layer, and germ. It contains appreciable quantities of nutrients like protein, fat, and dietary fiber. Furthermore, it contains substantial amount of minerals like K, Ca, Mg, and Fe. Presence of antioxidants like tocopherols, tocotrienols, and γ-oryzanol also brighten prospects of rice bran utilization for humans as functional ingredient to mitigate the life-threatening disorders. Moreover, in the developing countries, budding dilemma of food crisis, arising due to lower crop yields and escalating population, needs to utilize each pent of available resources. To provide enough food to all people, there is the holistic approach of using the by-products generated during food processing and preparations. Rice is being processed in well-established industry, but the major apprehension is the utilization of its by-products; rice bran (5-8%) and polishing (2-3%) that are going as waste. Rice processing or milling produces several streams of materials including milled rice, bran, and husk. In developing countries, rice bran is considered as a by-product of the milling process and commonly used in animal feed or discarded as a waste. The potential of producing rice bran at the global level is 29.3 million tons annually, whereas the share of Pakistan is worked out to be 0.5 million tons. In present paper, attempt has been made to highlight the significance of these valuable but neglected ingredients under various headings.

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Vitamin E tocotrienol supplementation improves lipid profiles in chronic hemodialysis patients.

Daud ZA, Tubie B, Sheyman M, Osia R, Adams J, Tubie S, Khosla P.


Chronic hemodialysis patients experience accelerated atherosclerosis contributed to by dyslipidemia, inflammation, and an impaired antioxidant system. Vitamin E tocotrienols possess anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. However, the impact of dietary intervention with Vitamin E tocotrienols is unknown in this population.


A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial was conducted in 81 patients undergoing chronic hemodialysis. Subjects were provided daily with capsules containing either vitamin E tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) (180 mg tocotrienols, 40 mg tocopherols) or placebo (0.48 mg tocotrienols, 0.88 mg tocopherols). Endpoints included measurements of inflammatory markers (C-reactive protein and interleukin 6), oxidative status (total antioxidant power and malondialdehyde), lipid profiles (plasma total cholesterol, triacylglycerols, and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), as well as cholesteryl-ester transfer protein activity and apolipoprotein A1.


TRF supplementation did not impact any nutritional, inflammatory, or oxidative status biomarkers over time when compared with the baseline within the group (one-way repeated measures analysis of variance) or when compared with the placebo group at a particular time point (independent t-test). However, the TRF supplemented group showed improvement in lipid profiles after 12 and 16 weeks of intervention when compared with placebo at the respective time points. Normalized plasma triacylglycerols (cf baseline) in the TRF group were reduced by 33 mg/dL (P=0.032) and 36 mg/dL (P=0.072) after 12 and 16 weeks of intervention but no significant improvement was seen in the placebo group. Similarly, normalized plasma high-density lipoprotein cholesterol was higher (P<0.05) in the TRF group as compared with placebo at both week 12 and week 16. The changes in the TRF group at week 12 and week 16 were associated with higher plasma apolipoprotein A1 concentration (P<0.02) and lower cholesteryl-ester transfer protein activity (P<0.001).


TRF supplementation improved lipid profiles in this study of maintenance hemodialysis patients. A multi-centered trial is warranted to confirm these observations.

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Reversal of myoblast aging by tocotrienol rich fraction posttreatment.

Lim JJ, Wan Ngah WZ, Mouly V, Abdul Karim N.

Skeletal muscle satellite cells are heavily involved in the regeneration of skeletal muscle in response to the aging-related deterioration of the skeletal muscle mass, strength, and regenerative capacity, termed as sarcopenia. This study focused on the effect of tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) on regenerative capacity of myoblasts in stress-induced premature senescence (SIPS). The myoblasts was grouped as young control, SIPS-induced, TRF control, TRF pretreatment, and TRF posttreatment. Optimum dose of TRF, morphological observation, activity of senescence-associated β -galactosidase (SA- β -galactosidase), and cell proliferation were determined. 50  μ g/mL TRF treatment exhibited the highest cell proliferation capacity. SIPS-induced myoblasts exhibit large flattened cells and prominent intermediate filaments (senescent-like morphology). The activity of SA- β -galactosidase was significantly increased, but the proliferation capacity was significantly reduced as compared to young control. The activity of SA- β -galactosidase was significantly reduced and cell proliferation was significantly increased in the posttreatment group whereas there was no significant difference in SA- β -galactosidase activity and proliferation capacity of pretreatment group as compared to SIPS-induced myoblasts. Based on the data, we hypothesized that TRF may reverse the myoblasts aging through replenishing the regenerative capacity of the cells. However, further investigation on the mechanism of TRF in reversing the myoblast aging is needed.

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Delta-Tocotrienol Protects Mice from Radiation-Induced Gastrointestinal Injury.

Li XH, Ghosh SP, Ha CT, Fu D, Elliott TB, Bolduc DL, Villa V, Whitnall MH, Landauer MR, Xiao M.

We recently demonstrated that natural delta-tocotrienol (DT3) significantly enhanced survival in total-body irradiated (TBI) mice, and protected mouse bone marrow cells from radiation-induced damage through Erk activation-associated mTOR survival pathways. Here, we further evaluated the effects and mechanisms of DT3 on survival of radiation-induced mouse acute gastrointestinal syndrome. DT3 (75-100 mg/kg) or vehicle was administered as a single subcutaneous injection to CD2F1 mice 24 h before 10-12 Gy 60Co total-body irradiation at a dose rate of 0.6 Gy/min and survival was monitored. In a separate group of mice, jejunum sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and the surviving crypts in irradiated mice were counted. Apoptosis in intestinal epithelial cells was measured by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick-end labeling (TUNEL) staining and bacterial translocation from gut to heart, spleen and liver in irradiated mice were evaluated. DT3 (75 mg/kg) significantly enhanced survival in mice that received 10, 10.5, 11 or 12 Gy TBI. Administration of DT3 protected intestinal tissue, decreased apoptotic cells in jejunum and inhibited gut bacterial translocation in irradiated mice. Furthermore, DT3 significantly inhibited radiation-induced production of pro-inflammatory factors interleukin-1β and -6 and suppressed expression of protein tyrosine kinase 6 (PTK6), a stress-induced kinase that promotes apoptosis in mouse intestinal cells. Our data demonstrate that administration of DT3 protected mice from radiation-induced gastrointestinal system damage.

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