Let Vitamin E Help Protect Your Brain

Want to lower your risk of having another stroke? Protect your brain with Vitamin E.

Studies reveal that Vitamin E tocotrienol, a little known type of Vitamin E found naturally in palm oil, helps to support white brain matter and lower stroke risk.

Why White Matter Matters

Fifty percent of your brain is white matter and the health of your brain’s white matter affects how well your brain functions and learns.  Your brain’s white matter is also the area of the brain most affected by a stroke.

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A Tocotrienol-Enriched Formulation Protects against Radiation-Induced Changes in Cardiac Mitochondria without Modifying Late Cardiac Function or Structure.

Sridharan V, Tripathi P, Aykin-Burns N, Krager KJ, Sharma SK, Moros EG, Melnyk SB, Pavliv O, Hauer-Jensen M, Boerma M.

Radiat Res. 2015 Feb 24.

Abstract

Radiation-induced heart disease (RIHD) is a common and sometimes severe late side effect of radiation therapy for intrathoracic and chest wall tumors. We have previously shown that local heart irradiation in a rat model caused prolonged changes in mitochondrial respiration and increased susceptibility to mitochondrial permeability transition pore (mPTP) opening. Because tocotrienols are known to protect against oxidative stress-induced mitochondrial dysfunction, in this study, we examined the effects of tocotrienols on radiation-induced alterations in mitochondria, and structural and functional manifestations of RIHD. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received image-guided localized X irradiation to the heart to a total dose of 21 Gy. Twenty-four hours before irradiation, rats received a tocotrienol-enriched formulation or vehicle by oral gavage. Mitochondrial function and mitochondrial membrane parameters were studied at 2 weeks and 28 weeks after irradiation. In addition, cardiac function and histology were examined at 28 weeks. A single oral dose of the tocotrienol-enriched formulation preserved Bax/Bcl2 ratios and prevented mPTP opening and radiation-induced alterations in succinate-driven mitochondrial respiration. Nevertheless, the late effects of local heart irradiation pertaining to myocardial function and structure were not modified. Our studies suggest that a single dose of tocotrienols protects against radiation-induced mitochondrial changes, but these effects are not sufficient against long-term alterations in cardiac function or remodeling.

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Abstract

Parenteral lipid emulsions, which are made of oils from plant and fish sources, contain different types of tocopherols and tocotrienols (vitamin E homologs). The amount and types of vitamin E homologs in various lipid emulsions vary considerably and are not completely known. The objective of this analysis was to develop a quantitative method to determine levels of all vitamin E homologs in various lipid emulsions. An HPLC system was used to measure vitamin E homologs using a Pinnacle DB Silica normal phase column and an isocratic, n-hexane:1,4 dioxane (98:2) mobile phase. An optimized protocol was used to report vitamin E homolog concentrations in soybean oil-based (Intralipid®, Ivelip®, Lipofundin® N, Liposyn® III, and Liposyn® II), medium- and long-chain fatty acid-based (Lipofundin®, MCT and Structolipid®), olive oil-based (ClinOleic®), and fish oil-based (Omegaven®) and mixture of these oils-based (SMOFlipid®, Lipidem®) commercial parenteral lipid emulsions. Total content of all vitamin E homologs varied greatly between different emulsions, ranging from 57.9 to 383.9 µg/mL. Tocopherols (α, β, γ, δ) were the predominant vitamin E homologs for all emulsions, with tocotrienol content < 0.3%. In all of the soybean emulsions, except for Lipofundin® N, the predominant vitamin E homolog was γ-tocopherol, which ranged from 57-156 µg/mL. ClinOleic® predominantly contained α-tocopherol (32 µg/mL), whereas α-tocopherol content in Omegaven® was higher than most of the other lipid emulsions (230 µg/mL).

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Nrf2, a master regulator of detoxification and also antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and other cytoprotective mechanisms, is raised by health promoting factors.

Pall ML, Levine S

2015 Feb 25;67(1):1-18

Abstract

The transcription factor Nrf2, nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2, activates the transcription of over 500 genes in the human genome, most of which have cytoprotective functions. Nrf2 produces cytoprotection by detoxification mechanisms leading to increased detoxification and excretion of both organic xenobiotics and toxic metals; its action via over two dozen genes increases highly coordinated antioxidant activities; it produces major anti-inflammatory changes; it stimulates mitochondrial biogenesis and otherwise improves mitochondrial function; and it stimulates autophagy, removing toxic protein aggregates and dysfunctional organelles. Health-promoting nutrients and other factors act, at least in part by raising Nrf2 including: many phenolic antioxidants; gamma- and delta-tocopherols and tocotrienols; long chain omega-3 fatty acids DHA and EPA; many carotenoids of which lycopene may be the most active; isothiocyanates from cruciferous vegetables; sulfur compounds from allium vegetables; terpenoids. Other health promoting, Nrf2 raising factors include low level oxidative stress (hormesis), exercise and caloric restriction. Raising Nrf2 has been found to prevent and/or treat a large number of chronic inflammatory diseases in animal models and/or humans including various cardiovascular diseases, kidney diseases, lung diseases, diseases of toxic liver damage, cancer (prevention), diabetes/metabolic syndrome/obesity, sepsis, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory bowel disease, HIV/AIDS and epilepsy. Lesser evidence suggests that raising Nrf2 may lower 16 other diseases. Many of these diseases are probable NO/ONOO(-) cycle diseases and Nrf2 lowers effects of NO/ONOO(-) cycle elements. The most healthful diets known, traditional Mediterranean and Okinawan, are rich in Nrf2 raising nutrients as apparently was the Paleolithic diet that our ancestors ate. Modern diets are deficient in such nutrients. Nrf2 is argued to be both lifespan and healthspan extending. Possible downsides to too much Nrf2 are also discussed. Nrf2 is not a magic bullet but is likely to be of great importance in health promotion, particularly in those regularly exposed to toxic chemicals.

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Comparative hepatoprotective effects of tocotrienol analogs against drug-induced liver injury.

Tan CY, Saw TY, Fong CW, Ho HK.

Redox Biol. 2015 Jan 20

Abstract

Oxidative stress plays a major part in the pathogenesis of drug-induced liver injury. Yet, overcoming it with other xenobiotics impose additional risks. In this study, we consider the use of natural-occurring and purified Vitamin E analogs as hepatoprotective agents. Vitamin E is well-known for its intrinsic antioxidant property even though the differential effect of specific analogs of tocopherol (TP) and tocotrienol (T3) is still not ascertained. This study investigates the protective effect of T3 analogs (α-, δ-, γ-) in comparison with α-TP followed by assessing the underlying mechanisms of the cytoprotective T3 analog(s) in two xenobiotics-induced liver injury models using (1) acetaminophen (APAP)- and (2) hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Both α-TP and α-T3 exerted cytoprotective effects while only lower concentration of γ-T3 was effective in inhibiting both toxicants induced injury. α-TP/α-T3 protected hepatocytes from APAP and H2O2-induced liver injury through arresting free radicals and inhibiting oxidative stress (inhibition of reactive oxygen species, lipid peroxidation and mitochondrial permeability transition). There was also demonstrable inhibition of the apoptotic pathway (inhibition of caspse-3 activity and overexpression of Bcl-XL), accompanied with an induction of liver regeneration (PCNA and NF-kB). The cellular uptake of α-T3 was higher than α-TP at the same treatment dosage after 24h. Overall, α-T3 seems to be a more potent hepatoprotective analog among the tocotrienols and α-TP at the same in vitro treatment dosage. In summary, these results suggest that α-TP/α-T3 elicit hepatoprotective effects against toxicants-induced damage mainly through activation of antioxidant responses at an early stage to prevent the exacerbation of injury.

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Cellular uptake, antioxidant and antiproliferative activity of entrapped α-tocopherol and γ-tocotrienol in poly (lactic-co-glycolic) acid (PLGA) and chitosan covered PLGA nanoparticles (PLGA-Chi).

Alqahtani S, Simon L, Astete CE, Alayoubi A, Sylvester PW, Nazzal S, Shen Y, Xu Z, Kaddoumi A, Sabliov CM.

J Colloid Interface Sci. 2015 May 1

Abstract

The aim of this study was to formulate and characterize α-tocopherol (α-T) and tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) entrapped in poly (lactide-co-glycolide) (PLGA) and chitosan covered PLGA (PLGA-Chi) based nanoparticles. The resultant nanoparticles were characterized and the effect of nanoparticles entrapment on the cellular uptake, antioxidant, and antiproliferative activity of α-T and TRF were tested. In vitro uptake studies in Caco2 cells showed that PLGA and PLGA-Chi nanoparticles displayed a greater enhancement in the cellular uptake of α-T and TRF when compared with the control without causing toxicity to the cells (p<0.0001). Furthermore, the cellular internalization of both PLGA and PLGA-Chi nanoparticles labeled with FITC was investigated by fluorescence microscopy; both types of nanoparticles were able to get internalized into the cells with reasonable amounts. However, PLGA-Chi nanoparticles showed significantly higher (3.5-fold) cellular uptake compared to PLGA nanoparticles. The antioxidant activity studies demonstrated that entrapment of α-T and TRF in PLGA and PLGA-Chi nanoparticles exhibited greater ability in inhibiting cholesterol oxidation at 48h compared to the control. In vitro antiproliferative studies confirmed marked cytotoxicity of TRF on MCF-7 and MDA-MB-231 cell lines when delivered by PLGA and PLGA-Chi nanoparticles after 48h incubation compared to control. In summary, PLGA and PLGA-Chi nanoparticles may be considered as an attractive and promising approach to enhance the bioavailability and activity of poorly water soluble compounds such as α-tocopherol and tocotrienols.

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Antioxidant activities of tocopherols/tocotrienols and lipophilic antioxidant capacity of wheat, vegetable oils, milk and milk cream by using photochemiluminescence.

Karmowski J, Hintze V, Kschonsek J, Killenberg M, Böhm V.

Food Chem. 2015 May 15;175:593-600.

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to measure the antioxidant activity (AOA) of tocopherols and tocotrienols by using photochemiluminescence (PCL). This method enables to detect total lipophilic antioxidants. The AOA of all vitamin E isomers depended on number and position of methyl groups in the chroman ring. Correlation between the AOA and the redox potential and the biological activity of the tocochromanols was observed. The second aim was to analyse different kinds of wheat, vegetable oils, milk and milk cream on their antioxidant capacity (AOC) by using PCL and α-TEAC. The contents of vitamin E and carotenoids were analysed by HPLC. Correlations between the sum of carotenoids and vitamin E and the AOC were detected. Based on high vitamin E contents, the oils had the highest and in contrast, the product macaroni showed the lowest AOC. A concentration-dependent effect was observed in both assays, PCL and α-TEAC.

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