Plastochromanol-8: Fifty years of research


Plastochromanol-8 (PC-8) is an antioxidant that, together with tocopherols and tocotrienols, belongs to the group of tocochromanols. Plastochromanol-8 has been found to occur in several plant species, including mosses, and lichens. PC-8 is found in seeds, leaves and other organs of higher plants. In leaves, PC-8 is restricted to chloroplasts. The identification of tocopherol cyclase (VTE1) as the key enzyme in the biosynthesis of PC-8 suggests that plastoglobules are the primary site of its biosynthesis. Other enzymes related with PC-8 biosynthesis in plastoglobules include: NDC1 and the ABC1-like kinase ABC1K3. The antioxidant properties of PC-8 are similar to those of other chloroplastic antioxidants in polar solvents but considerably they are enhanced in hydrophobic environments, suggesting that the unsaturated side chain performs some quenching activity. As a result of a non-enzymatic reaction, singlet oxygen can oxidize any of the 8 double bonds in the side chain of PC-8, giving at least eight hydroxy-PC-8 isomers. This review summarizes current evidence of a widespread distribution of PC-8 in photosynthetic organisms, as well as the contribution of PC-8 to the pool of lipid-soluble antioxidants in both leaves and seeds.

Annatto Tocotrienol Helps Prevent Osteoporosis in Men

A preclinical trial using annatto tocotrienol in osteoporotic rats demonstrated that vitamin E tocotrienols are as effective as standard anti-osteoporosis therapy in men.

 Able to completely prevent erosion of the bone surface and decreased bone formation associated with testosterone deficiency, annatto tocotrienol was as effective as testosterone enanthate, one of the standard therapies used to treat osteoporosis in men.

“This study serves as a basis for the application of annatto tocotrienol in hypogonadal men as an antiosteoporotic agent,” concluded the researchers, led by pharmacologist Ima-Nirwana Soelaiman of the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

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The Little-Known Benefits Of Tocotrienols

By Thomas Rosenthal

The Little-Known Benefits Of Tocotrienols

If your vitamin E supplement contains only tocopherol forms, you may not be getting all of the benefits this nutrient has to offer. While tocopherols are very important, they lack many of the synergistic benefits offered by their cousins, the tocotrienols.

Few people realize that vitamin E is composed of eight different compounds. Half of these are called tocopherols, which is the most common form of vitamin E. The other half are known as tocotrienols.

Scientists are discovering that tocotrienols provide valuable therapeutic and preventive options for the diseases of aging that tocopherols alone may not provide.

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Tocotrienols in action by The Star

Tocotrienols are fast overtaking their better-known vitamin E sibling, tocopherols, when it comes to customer satisfaction.

Researchers have long concentrated on the tocopherol members of the vitamin E family, which were discovered first. It was only in the last couple of decades that researchers have started to focus on tocotrienols.

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Studies have indicated that tocotrienols are stronger antioxidants than tocopherols. In the market, tocotrienols are viewed as better, stronger form of vitamin E with positive customer feedbacks as they offer beneficial effects to the skin. Besides, the pharmacists recommend tocotrienols for heart protection, cholesterol-lowering and stroke-prevention. The recommended dose vary based on individual responses.

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Vitamin E ‘beneficial’ in dementia

A daily dose of vitamin E could help people with dementiabrain

A study in the journal JAMA found people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease on high doses of vitamin E had a slower rate of decline than those given a dummy pill.

They were able to carry out everyday tasks for longer and needed less help from carers, say US researchers.

The Alzheimer’s Society said the dosage was very high and might not be safe.

In the study, 613 people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s disease received either a daily dose of vitamin E, a dementia drug treatment known as memantine, a combination of vitamin E and memantine, or placebo.

Changes in their ability to carry out everyday tasks – such as washing or dressing – were measured over an average of two years.

The study found participants receiving vitamin E had slower functional decline than those receiving placebo, with the annual rate of decline reduced by 19%.

Dysken MW, Sano M, Asthana S, et al. Effect of Vitamin E and Memantine on Functional Decline in Alzheimer Disease: The TEAM-AD VA Cooperative Randomized Trial. JAMA.2014;311(1):33-44. 

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Vitamin E & Disease Prevention: Myth or Reality?

Almost a century has passed since Evans and Bishop (Evans & Bishop, 1922) first described a “substance X” (today known as vitamin E) as a critical factor for post-fertilization placental development in rats. Recently, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimated that more than 10% of the U.S. population may have nutritional deficiencies, including vitamin E. These deficiencies may result from inadequate consumption of nutrient-rich foods; lack of absorption in the digestive tract; illness and disease; interactions among prescription medications, over-the-counter (OTC) medicine and dietary supplements; and following “fad” diets that limit the intake of a variety of foods.

Since its discovery, vitamin E has been extensively researched by a large number of investigators in an attempt to understand its role in a variety of pathophysiological contexts. However, several recent randomized controlled trials have generated negative images of this well-publicized vitamin.

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Tocotrienol analogue as potential anti-cancer agent

Cancer(3)Vitamins are prominent among natural or endogenous compounds that are considered to be beneficial for both prevention and therapy of various human ailments. The vitamin E group of compounds composed of tocopherol and tocotrienol isoforms, has been subsequently proven to have health benefits including antioxidant and related protective properties. The anticancer effect of T3 remains not fully understood but generally is mediated independently of its antioxidant activity. In this study, new redox-inactive analogue of T3, 6-O-carboxypropyl-alpha-tocotrienol (T3E) showed considerable promise for stronger anticancer potency than its mother compound.

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Palm Oil – A Desired Ingredient for European Food Manufacturers to Avoid Dangerous Trans Fats

Palm Oil has seen increasing demand in Europe over the last twenty years. It is needed in food preparation to supplement insufficient local production of oils and fats. Nett imports of oils and fats by the EU amount to 8 to 10 million tonnes per year making up one third of annual consumption and most of these imports are made up of palm oil.

In recent years, the Europeans have been fed with misinformation through negative campaigns by environmental NGOs.  Most customers of palm oil are secretly praying that  the current controversy over this popular  commodity will be resolved soon. They want to continue concentrating on their core business of producing products where palm oil is a desirable component because of its superior techno-economic attributes. They need palm oil to enable them to make profitable and affordable products for the depressed European economy.

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Gamma-tocotrienol eliminates breast cancer stem cells

Cancer (2)Drug-resistant human breast cancer cells express high levels of Stat-3 signalling mediators essential for enrichment of cancer stem cells.  Alone or in combination with simvastatin , low doses of gamma-tocotrienol eliminates human breast cancer stem cells  via inhibition of the mevalonate pathway and activation of the novo ceramide synthesis pathways.

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Tocotrienol ameliorates biomarkers of fatty liver disease in animal models

Tocotrienol exerts a synergistic effect with alpha-tocopherol on rat liver2models of steatohepatitis (fatty liver).  Results have shown that lipid peroxide levels in the liver are lower and signs of increased liver damage are controlled after combined intake of tocotrienol and alpha-tocopherol. High levels of inflammatory cytokines mRNA suppression were observed and particularly, the gamma-isoform of tocotrienol significantly inhibited mRNA expression of TGF-beta1.

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