Palm oil is a rich source of vitamin E, carotenoids, tocotrienols and tocopherols which are natural antioxidants and act as scavengers of oxygen free radicals. 12-O-Tetradecanoyl-phorbol-13-acetate (TPA) is a known oxidant that promotes tumorigenesis in mouse skin through the elaboration of oxidative stress. In this study we therefore assessed the anti-tumor promoting potential of palm oil against TPA-mediated skin tumorigenesis in 7,12-dimethylbenz[a]anthracene-initiated Swiss albino mice. Topical application of palm oil 1 h prior to application of TPA resulted in a significant protection against skin tumor promotion. The animals pre-treated with palm oil showed a decrease in both tumor incidence and tumor yield as compared to the TPA (alone)-treated group. Palm oil application also reduced the development of malignant tumors. Since TPA-induced epidermal ornithine decarboxylase (ODC) activity and [(3)H]thymidine incorporation are conventionally used markers of skin tumor promotion, we also assessed the effect of pre-application of palm oil on these parameters, and it was observed that the application of palm oil prior to the application of TPA alleviated both these TPA-induced markers of tumor promotion. The effect of pre-application of palm oil on TPA-mediated depletion in the non-enzymatic and enzymatic molecules was also assessed and it was observed that palm oil application prior to TPA application resulted in the recovery of TPA-mediated depletion in the levels of these molecules viz. glutathione, glutathione peroxidase, glutathione reductase, glutathione-S-transferase and catalase. Similarly, palm oil also exhibited a protective effect against Fe(2+)-ascorbate-induced lipid peroxidation in the epidermal microsomes. The results of the present study thus suggest that palm oil possesses anti-skin tumor promoting effects, and that the mechanism of such effects may involve the inhibition of tumor promoter-induced epidermal ODC activity, [(3)H]thymidine incorporation and cutaneous oxidative stress.
Alpha-Tocopherol is known as the most abundant and active form of vitamin E homologues in vivo, but recently the role of other forms of vitamin E has received renewed attention. The antioxidant properties were compared for alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols and tocotrienols. The following results were obtained: (1). the corresponding tocopherols and tocotrienols exerted the same reactivities toward radicals and the same antioxidant activities against lipid peroxidation in solution and liposomal membranes; (2). tocopherols gave more significant physical effect than tocotrienols on the increase in rigidity at the membrane interior; (3). tocopherols and tocotrienols showed similar mobilities within the membranes, but tocotrienols were more readily transferred between the membranes and incorporated into the membranes than tocopherols; (4). alpha-tocopherol and alpha-tocotrienol, but not the other forms, reduced Cu(II) to give Cu(I) together with alpha-tocopheryl and alpha-tocotrienyl quinones, respectively and exerted prooxidant effect in the oxidation of methyl linoleate in SDS micelles.
The content and composition of different vitamin E isoforms was analyzed in normal human skin. Interestingly the epidermis contained 1% alpha-tocotrienol, 3% gamma-tocotrienol, 87% alpha-tocopherol, and 9% gamma-tocopherol. Although the levels of tocotrienol in human epidermis appear to be considerably lower than reported in the hairless mouse, the presence of significant amounts of tocotrienol levels leads to speculation about the physiological function of tocotrienols in skin. Besides antioxidant activity and photoprotection, tocotrienols may have skin barrier and growth-modulating properties. A good correlation was found for epidermal alpha-tocopherol (r = 0.7909, p <.0003), gamma-tocopherol (r = 0.556, p <.025), and the total vitamin E content (r = 0.831, p <.0001) with the free radical 1,1-diphenyl-2-picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) scavenging in epidermis, as assessed by electron paramagnetic resonance (EPR) spectroscopy. In human epidermis, alpha-tocopherol is quantitatively the most important vitamin E isoform present and comprises the bulk of first line free radical defense in the lipid compartment. Epidermal tocotrienol levels were not correlated with DPPH scavenging activity. The minimal erythema dose (MED), an individual measure for sun sensitivity and a crude indicator for skin cancer susceptibility, did not correlate with the epidermal content of the vitamin E isoforms. Hence it is concluded that vitamin E alone is not a determinant of individual photosensitivity in humans.
Benzoyl peroxide (BPO) is a commonly used drug in the treatment of acne vulgaris, but it induces unwanted side effects related to stratum corneum (SC) function. Since it has been recently shown to oxidize SC antioxidants, it was hypothesized that antioxidant supplementation may mitigate the BPO-induced SC changes. To test this, 11 subjects were selected to be topically supplemented with alpha-tocotrienol (5% w/vol) for 7 d on defined regions of the upper back, while the contralateral region was used for vehicle-only controls. Starting on day 8, all test sites were also treated with BPO (10%) for 7 d; the alpha-tocotrienol supplementation was continued throughout the study. A single dose of BPO depleted 93.2% of the total vitamin E. While continuing the BPO exposure for 7 d further depleted vitamin E in both vehicle-only and alpha-tocotrienol-treated sites, significantly more vitamin E remained in the alpha-tocotrienol-treated areas. Seven BPO applications increased lipid peroxidation. Alpha-tocotrienol supplementation significantly mitigated the BPO-induced lipid peroxidation. The transepidermal water loss was increased 1.9-fold by seven BPO applications, while there was no difference between alpha-tocotrienol treatment and controls. The data suggest that alpha-tocotrienol supplementation counteracts the lipid peroxidation but not the barrier perturbation in the SC induced by 10% BPO.
Alpha-tocopherol and its derivatives have been shown to be effective in reducing cerebral ischemia-induced brain damage. However, the effects of other vitamin E isoforms have not been characterized. In the present study, we investigated the effects of six different isoforms of vitamin E on the ischemic brain damage in the mice middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion model. All vitamin E isoforms were injected i.v., twice, immediately before and 3 h after the occlusion. Alpha-tocopherol (2 mM), alpha-tocotrienol (0.2 and 2 mM) and gamma-tocopherol (0.2 and 2 mM) significantly decreased the size of the cerebral infarcts 1 day after the MCA occlusion, while gamma-tocotrienol, delta-tocopherol and delta-tocotrienol showed no effect on the cerebral infarcts. These results suggest that alpha-tocotrienol and gamma-tocopherol are potent and effective agents for preventing cerebral infarction induced by MCA occlusion.
Background: Tocotrienols have been reported to lower LDL-cholesterol and fasting glucose concentrations and to have potent antioxidant effects, but the results are contradictory.
Objective: The objective was to study the relative effect of tocotrienol supplements of different compositions (mixed alpha- plus gamma-, high gamma-, or P25-complex tocotrienol) on blood lipids, fasting blood glucose, and the excretion of 8-iso-prostaglandin F(2alpha), a measure of oxidative stress, in healthy hypercholesterolemic men and women.
Design: This was a double-blind, randomized, parallel-design study in which subjects (n = 67 men and women) consumed 1 of 3 commercially available tocotrienol supplements or a safflower oil placebo for 28 d. Blood and urine samples were obtained before and after the 28-d supplementation phase for analysis of fasting blood lipids, glucose, tocotrienols and tocopherols, and 8-iso-prostaglandin F(2alpha).
Results: Overall, serum tocotrienols were increased in subjects who consumed tocotrienols, which showed that the putatively active components were absorbed. No significant differences in mean lipid or glucose concentrations were observed among the 4 treatment groups at the end of the 28-d supplementation phase. However, when the values were expressed as a percentage change from the concentrations during the presupplementation run-in phase, LDL cholesterol increased slightly (7 +/- 2%) but significantly (P < 0.05) in the group consuming the mixed alpha- plus gamma-tocotrienol supplement when compared with LDL cholesterol in the group consuming the P25-complex tocotrienol. Neither mean concentrations nor the percentage change in 8-iso-prostaglandin F(2alpha) differed significantly among treatments.
Conclusion: Supplementation with 200 mg tocotrienols/d from 3 commercially available sources has no beneficial effect on key cardiovascular disease risk factors in highly compliant adults with elevated blood lipid concentrations.
This study determined the effects of palm vitamin E (TRF) diet on the levels of blood glucose, glycated hemoglobin (gHb), serum advanced glycosylation end-products (AGE) and malondialdehyde (MDA) of diabetic Sprague-Dawley rats. The rats received either control (normal rat chow), TRF diet (normal chow fortified with TRF at 1 g/kg) or Vitamin C diet (vitamin E-deficient but contained vitamin C at 45 g/kg). The animals were maintained on the respective diet for 4 weeks, made diabetic with streptozotocin (STZ), then followed-up for a further 8 weeks. At week-4, mean serum AGE levels of rats given TRF diet (0.7 +/- 0.3 units/ml) were significantly lower than those of control or Vitamin C diet rats (p pounds 0.03). The levels increased after STZ and became comparable to the other groups. At week 12, blood glucose (20.9 +/- 6.9 mM) and gHb (10.0 +/- 1.6%) of rats on TRF diet remained significantly low compared to that of control or Vitamin C diet rats (p pounds 0.03). MDA however, was not affected and remained comparable between groups throughout the study. This study showed that TRF may be a useful antioxidant; effectively prevented increase in AGE in normal rats, and caused decrease in blood glucose and gHb in diabetic rats. Further studies are needed to elucidate the mechanisms of action of TRF.
Background/Aims: Tocotrienols has been shown to inhibit the 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity; however, the published animal and human studies yield conflicting results. We investigated the effects of a 4-week dietary supplement of either gamma-tocotrienol (86% gamma-T3) or a mixture of tocotrienols (29.5% alpha-T3, 3.3% beta-T3, 41.4% gamma-T3, 0.1% delta-T3: mix-T3) on the plasma lipid profile in hamsters receiving a high fat diet.
Methods: The hamsters were randomized into 7 groups: no treatment, 16 mg/day/kg BW simvastatin, 23, 58, 263 mg/day/kg BW gamma-tocotrienol, and 39 or 263 mg/day/kg BW for the mixture of tocotrienols. Plasma lipid levels were measured after 2 and 4 weeks of treatment.
Results: In all groups treated with tocotrienol total cholesterol levels were decreased, ranging from 7 to 23% after 2 weeks of treatment and from 7 to 15% after 4 weeks. Low-density lipoprotein plasma levels changed accordingly: a decline of 6-37% after 2 weeks and of 12-32% at the end of the study was observed. After 4 weeks of treatment, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein plasma levels were significantly reduced in the 263 mg/day/kg BW mixed tocotrienols and the 58 mg/day/kg BW and 263 mg/day/kg BW gamma-tocotrienol groups when compared to the no treatment group. Plasma triglycerides and high-density lipoprotein levels did not change significantly.
Conclusion: This study provides further evidence that tocotrienols lower total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein plasma levels in hamsters and that gamma-tocotrienol is a more potent agent than a mixture of tocotrienols.
Tocotrienols are a subclass of vitamin E compounds that display potent anticancer activity. Determining the anticancer mechanism of action oftocotrienols will provide essential information necessary for understanding the potential health benefits of these compounds in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is a potent mitogen for normal and neoplastic mammary epithelial cells. Initial events in EGF-receptor (EGF-R) mitogenic-signalling are G-protein activation, stimulation of adenylyl cyclase and cyclic AMP (cAMP) production. Studies were conducted to determine if the antiproliferative effects of tocotrienols are associated with reduced EGF-induced G-protein and cAMP-dependent mitogenic signalling. Preneoplastic CL-S1 mouse mammary epithelial cells were grown in culture and maintained on serum-free media containing 0-25 micro mol/L tocotrienol-rich fraction of palm oil and/or different doses of pharmacological agents that alter intracellular cAMP levels. Tocotrienol-induced effects on EGF-receptor levels of tyrosine kinase activity, as well as EGF-dependent mitogen-activated pathway kinase (MAPK) and Akt activation, were determined by western blot analysis. Results demonstrate that the antiproliferative effects of tocotrienols in preneoplastic mammary epithelial cells do not reflect a reduction in EGF-receptor mitogenic responsiveness, but rather, result from an inhibition in early post-receptor events involved in cAMP production upstream from EGF-dependent MAPK and phosphoinositide 3-kinase/Akt mitogenic signalling. In summary, these data further characterise the mechanism of action of tocotrienols in suppressing preneoplastic mammary epithelial cell proliferation, and advance the current understanding of the potential health benefits of these compounds in reducing the risk of breast cancer in women.
Tocotrienols are effective in lowering serum total and LDL-cholesterol levels by inhibiting the hepatic enzymic activity of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl coenzymeA (HMG-CoA) reductase through the post-transcriptional mechanism. alpha-Tocopherol, however, has an opposite effect (induces) on this enzyme activity. Since tocotrienols are also converted to tocopherols in vivo, it is necessary not to exceed a certain dose, as this would be counter-productive. The present study demonstrates the effects of various doses of a tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF25) of stabilized and heated rice bran in hypercholesterolemic human subjects on serum lipid parameters. Ninety (18/group) hypercholesterolemic human subjects participated in this study, which comprised three phases of 35 days each. The subjects were initially placed on the American Heart Association (AHA) Step-1 diet and the effects noted. They were then administered 25, 50, 100, and 200 mg/day of TRF25 while on the restricted (AHA) diet. The results show that a dose of 100 mg/day of TRF25 produce maximum decreases of 20, 25, 14 (P<0.05) and 12%, respectively, in serum total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, apolipoprotein B and triglycerides compared with the baseline values, suggesting that a dose of 100 mg/day TRF25 plus AHA Step-1 diet may be the optimal dose for controlling the risk of coronary heart disease in hypercholesterolemic human subjects.