The wonders of palm oil

Ahmad Parveez Ghulam Kadir

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB)’s research and collaborations with local and overseas institutions have scientifically proven that palm-derived Vitamin E tocotrienols are important for human health as they can prevent many non-communicable diseases. Through the continuous and dedicated research conducted by MPOB, the health benefits of palm oil and its phyto-nutrients are being explored extensively.

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Systematic review with meta-analysis: The effect of vitamin E supplementation in adult patients with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease

Andreas Vadarlis, Christina Antza, Dimitra Rafailia Bakaloudi, Ioannis Doundoulakis, Georgios Kalopitas, Myrto Samara, Theodoros Dardavessis, Theofanis Maris, Michael Chourdakis

J Gastroenterol Hepatol . 2020 Aug 18. doi: 10.1111/jgh.15221. Online ahead of print.


Background: Νon-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is estimated to be the most common cause of end-stage liver disease in the next years. Vitamin E has shown beneficial effects as a possible “scavenger” of oxidative stress products, which play a major role in pathogenesis of the disease.

Aims: The purpose of the present meta-analysis is to investigate the effects of vitamin E supplementation in biochemical and histological parameters in adult patients with NAFLD.

Methods: Literature search was performed in major electronic databases (MEDLINE, CENTRAL and EMBASE) up to June 2020 for randomized clinical trials, which examined vitamin E versus placebo treatment in adults with NAFLD. Changes in liver enzymes were considered as primary outcomes, while changes in histology, biochemical and metabolic parameters as secondary. Quality of evidence was assessed through risk of bias according to the Cochrane risk of bias tool.

Results: Eight studies were included in qualitative analysis and seven in quantitative analysis. Vitamin E reduced the values of liver enzymes compared to placebo (-7.37 IU/L, 95% CI: -10.11 to -4.64 for ALT and -5.71 IU/L, 95% CI: -9.49 to -1.93 for AST) Additionally, vitamin E improved statistically significantly liver pathology in every individual histologic parameter as well LDL, FBG and serum leptin values.

Conclusions: Vitamin E can improve biochemical and histological characteristics of NAFLD patients, especially of NASH patients. The results indicate that vitamin E could be a promising choice and be considered as a treatment option in patients with NAFLD.

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Synergistic Impact of Xanthorrhizol and d-δ-Tocotrienol on the Proliferation of Murine B16 Melanoma Cells and Human DU145 Prostate Carcinoma Cells

Darren Chan, Maureen L Meister, Chappell R Madhani, Manal Elfakhani, Sophie T Yount, Xiangming Ji, Rafaela G Feresin, Desiree Wanders, Huanbiao Mo

Nutr Cancer . 2020 Aug 18;1-12. doi: 10.1080/01635581.2020.1807573. Online ahead of print


Isoprenoids suppress the mevalonate pathway that provides prenyl groups for the posttranslational modification of growth-regulating proteins. We hypothesize that xanthorrhizol and d-δ-tocotrienol synergistically suppress the growth of murine B16 melanoma and human DU145 prostate carcinoma cells. Xanthorrhizol (0-200 µmol/L; half maximal inhibitory concentration [IC50] = 65 µmol/L) and d-δ-tocotrienol (0-40 µmol/L; IC50 = 20 µmol/L) each induced a concentration-dependent suppression of the proliferation of B16 cells and concurrent cell cycle arrest at the G1 phase. A blend of 16.25 µmol/L xanthorrhizol and 10 µmol/L d-δ-tocotrienol suppressed B16 cell proliferation by 69%, an impact greater than the sum of those induced by xanthorrhizol (15%) and d-δ-tocotrienol (12%) individually. The blend cumulatively reduced the levels of cyclin-dependent kinase four and cyclin D1, key regulators of cell cycle progression at the G1 phase. The expression of RAS and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) in the proliferation-stimulating RAS-RAF-MEK-ERK pathway was downregulated by the blend. Xanthorrhizol also induced a concentration-dependent suppression of the proliferation of DU145 cells with concomitant morphological changes. Isobologram confirmed the synergistic effect of xanthorrhizol and d-δ-tocotrienol on DU145 cell proliferation with combination index values ranging 0.61-0.94. Novel combinations of isoprenoids with synergistic actions may offer effective approaches in cancer prevention and therapy.

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Does the addition of vitamin E to conventional UHMWPE improve the wear performance of hip acetabular cups? Micro-Raman characterization of differently processed polyethylene acetabular cups worn on a hip joint simulator

M Di Foggia, S Affatato, P Taddei

Braz J Med Biol Res . 2020;53(10):e9930. doi: 10.1590/1414-431x20209930. Epub 2020 Aug 17.


In knee replacements, vitamin E-doped ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) shows a better wear behavior than standard UHMWPE. Therefore, different sets of polyethylene (PE) acetabular cups, i.e. standard UHMWPE and cross-linked polyethylene irradiated with 50 kGy and 75 kGy, were compared, at a molecular level, with vitamin E-doped UHMWPE to evaluate their wear performance after being tested on a hip joint simulator for five million cycles. Unworn control and worn acetabular cups were analyzed by micro-Raman spectroscopy to gain insight into the effects of wear on the microstructure and phase composition of PE. Macroscopic wear was evaluated through mass loss measurements. The data showed that the samples could be divided into two groups: 1) standard and vitamin E-doped cups (mass loss of about 100 mg) and 2) the cross-linked cups (mass loss of about 30-40 mg). Micro-Raman spectroscopy disclosed different wear mechanisms in the four sets of acetabular cups, which were related to surface topography data. The vitamin E-doped samples did not show a better wear behavior than the cross-linked ones in terms of either mass loss or morphology changes. However, they showed lower variation at the morphological level (lower changes in phase composition) than the UHMWPE cups, thus confirming a certain protecting role of vitamin E against microstructural changes induced by wear testing.

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Primary and Secondary Markers of Doxorubicin-Induced Female Infertility and the Alleviative Properties of Quercetin and Vitamin E in a Rat Model

Mohammad Samare-Najaf, Fatemeh Zal, Solmaz Safari

Reprod Toxicol . 2020 Aug 15;96:316-326. doi: 10.1016/j.reprotox.2020.07.015. Online ahead of print.


The incidence of cancer has recently risen among the women at the reproductive age. Therefore, exposure to doxorubicin (DOX) chemotherapy has become a cause of reproductive toxicity followed by secondary destructive effects. The present study aimed to evaluate the effects of quercetin (QCT) and vitamin.E (Vit.E) on doxorubicin-induced toxicity in the ovary and uterus, and the secondary bone-related effects in a rat model. Animals were divided into six groups including control normal saline/corn oil (CON), QCT at 20 mg/Kg, Vit.E at 200 mg/Kg, DOX at accumulative 15 mg/Kg, DOX/QCT, and DOX/Vit.E. After 21 days of treatment, the alterations were analyzed in histoarchitecture, apoptosis, hormones secretion, the gene expression of aromatase and estrogen α-receptor (ER-α) in the uterine and ovarian tissues, and serum levels of bone-related factors. The results demonstrated the ameliorative effects of QCT and Vit.E on doxorubicin caused altered ovarian histology, increased apoptosis, decreased ovarian aromatase and ER-α gene expression (p-value<0.05), decreased estrogen and progesterone levels, decreased ALP (p-value<0.001), and increased osteocalcin (p-value<0.05). The findings suggested that the studied antioxidants administration could be a promising fertility preservation strategy in DOX-treated females.

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Effects of α-tocopherol on hemolysis and oxidative stress markers on red blood cells in β-thalassemia major

Nora Sovira, Munar Lubis, Pustika Amalia Wahidiyat, Franciscus D Suyatna, Djajadiman Gatot, Saptawati Bardosono, Mohammad Sadikin

Clin Exp Pediatr . 2020 Aug;63(8):314-320. doi: 10.3345/cep.2019.00542. Epub 2020 Aug 15.


Background: The accumulation of unpaired α-globin chains in patients with β-thalassemia major may clinically create ineffective erythropoiesis, hemolysis, and chronic anemia. Multiple blood transfusions and iron overload cause cellular oxidative damage. However, α-tocopherol, an antioxidant, is a potent scavenger of lipid radicals in the membranes of red blood cells (RBCs) of patients with β-thalassemia major.

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of α-tocopherol on hemolysis and oxidative stress markers on the RBC membranes of patients with β-thalassemia major.

Methods: Forty subjects included in this randomized controlled trial were allocated to the placebo and α-tocopherol groups. Doses of α-tocopherol were based on Institute of Medicine recommendations: 4-8 years old, 200 mg/day; 9-13 years old, 400 mg/day; 14-18 years old, 600 mg/day. Hemolysis, oxidative stress, and antioxidant variables were evaluated before and after 4-week α-tocopherol or placebo treatment, performed before blood transfusions.

Results: Significant enhancements in plasma haptoglobin were noted in the α-tocopherol group (3.01 mg/dL; range, 0.60-42.42 mg/dL; P=0.021). However, there was no significant intergroup difference in osmotic fragility test results; hemopexin, malondialdehyde, reduced glutathione (GSH), or oxidized glutathione (GSSG) levels; or GSH/GSSG ratio.

Conclusion: Use of α-tocopherol could indirectly improve hemolysis and haptoglobin levels. However, it played no significant role in oxidative stress or as an endogen antioxidant marker in β-thalassemia major.

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Garcinoic acid prevents β-amyloid (Aβ) deposition in the mouse brain

Rita Marinelli, Pierangelo Torquato, Desirée Bartolini, Cristina Mas-Bargues, Guido Bellezza, Antimo Gioiello, Consuelo Borras, Antonella De Luca, Francesca Fallarino, Bartolomeo Sebastiani, Sridhar Mani, Angelo Sidoni, Jose Viña, Manuela Leri, Monica Bucciantini, Pamela Nardiello, Fiorella Casamenti, Francesco Galli

J Biol Chem . 2020 Aug 14;295(33):11866-11876. doi: 10.1074/jbc.RA120.013303. Epub 2020 Jul 2.


Garcinoic acid (GA or δ-T3-13’COOH), is a natural vitamin E metabolite that has preliminarily been identified as a modulator of nuclear receptors involved in β-amyloid (Aβ) metabolism and progression of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). In this study, we investigated GA’s effects on Aβ oligomer formation and deposition. Specifically, we compared them with those of other vitamin E analogs and the soy isoflavone genistein, a natural agonist of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) that has therapeutic potential for managing AD. GA significantly reduced Aβ aggregation and accumulation in mouse cortical astrocytes. Similarly to genistein, GA up-regulated PPARγ expression and apolipoprotein E (ApoE) efflux in these cells with an efficacy that was comparable with that of its metabolic precursor δ-tocotrienol and higher than those of α-tocopherol metabolites. Unlike for genistein and the other vitamin E compounds, the GA-induced restoration of ApoE efflux was not affected by pharmacological inhibition of PPARγ activity, and specific activation of pregnane X receptor (PXR) was observed together with ApoE and multidrug resistance protein 1 (MDR1) membrane transporter up-regulation in both the mouse astrocytes and brain tissue. These effects of GA were associated with reduced Aβ deposition in the brain of TgCRND8 mice, a transgenic AD model. In conclusion, GA holds potential for preventing Aβ oligomerization and deposition in the brain. The mechanistic aspects of GA’s properties appear to be distinct from those of other vitamin E metabolites and of genistein.

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The Effects of Broiler Breeder Dietary Vitamin E and Egg Storage Time on the Quality of Eggs and Newly Hatched Chicks

Jun Yang, Xuemei Ding, Shiping Bai, Jianping Wang, Qiufeng Zeng, Huanwei Peng, Yue Xuan, Zuowei Su, Keying Zhang

Animals (Basel) . 2020 Aug 13;10(8):E1409. doi: 10.3390/ani10081409.


This study was conducted to investigate the effects of broiler breeder dietary vitamin E and egg storage time on the egg characteristics, hatchability, and antioxidant status of the egg yolks and newly hatched chicks. A total of 512 71-week-old Ross 308 breeder hens were fed the same basic diets containing 6 or 100 mg/kg vitamin E for 12 weeks. During this time, a total of 1532, 1464, and 1316 eggs were independently collected at weeks 8, 10, and 12, respectively, and subsequently stored for 0 or 14 d before hatching. The outcomes from three trials showed that prolonged egg storage time (14 vs. 0 d) negatively affected (p < 0.05) the egg characteristics, hatchability traits, and the yolk total antioxidant capacity (T-AOC) (p < 0.05). Chicks derived from the stored eggs exhibited higher malonaldehyde (MDA) and T-AOC in the serum and yolk sac (p < 0.05). Broiler breeder dietary vitamin E (100 vs. 6 mg/kg) increased (p < 0.05) the hatchability and the antioxidant status of the yolks as indicated by a higher α-tocopherol content and T-AOC and lower MDA level (p < 0.05). The supplementation of vitamin E also remarkably increased (p < 0.05) the total superoxide dismutase (T-SOD) activity (yolk sac, weeks 8 and 12) and T-AOC (serum, weeks 8, 10, and 12; yolk sac, weeks 8 and 12) and decreased (p < 0.05) the MDA content of chicks (yolk sac, week 10; serum, week 12). Interactions (p < 0.05) were found between the broiler breeder dietary vitamin E and egg storage time on the hatchability and antioxidant status of chick tissues. Broiler breeder dietary vitamin E (100 vs. 6 mg/kg) increased (p < 0.05) the hatchability and the T-AOC in the serum and liver of chicks, and decreased (p < 0.05) the early embryonic mortality and the MDA content in the yolk sacs of chicks derived from eggs stored for 14 d but not for 0 d. In conclusion, prolonged egg storage time (14 vs. 0 d) increased the embryonic mortality, decreased the hatchability, and impaired the antioxidant status of egg yolks and newly hatched chicks, while the addition of broiler breeder dietary vitamin E (100 vs. 6 mg/kg) could partly relieve these adverse impacts induced by long-term egg storage.

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Vitamin E protects against the modulation of TNF-α-AMPK axis and inhibits pancreas injury in a rat model of L-arginine-induced acute necrotising pancreatitis

Fahaid Al-Hashem, Mohamed Abd Ellatif, Asmaa M ShamsEldeen, Samaa S Kamar, Bahjat Al-Ani, Mohamed A Haidara

Arch Physiol Biochem . 2020 Aug 12;1-9. doi: 10.1080/13813455.2020.1806330. Online ahead of print.


Background: Acute pancreatitis (AP) associated with the modulation of TNF-α-AMPK axis in the presence and absence of vitamin E has not been investigated before.

Material and methods: Rats were either injected with L-arginine (2.5 gm/kg) before being sacrificed after 48 h or were pre-treated with vitamin E (60 mg/kg) and continued receiving vitamin E until the end of the experiment.

Results: AP was developed as demonstrated by infiltration of inflammatory cells and profound pancreas tissue damage, which were substantially protected by vitamin E. In addition, L-arginine injections significantly (p < .0001) increased the expression of TNF-α mRNA and protein, and decreased phospho-AMPK and IL-10 mRNA and protein that was significantly (p < .0001) protected by vitamin E. Furthermore, vitamin E inhibited L-arginine-induced blood levels of LDH, amylase, and myeloperoxidase.

Conclusions: L-arginine-induced acute pancreatitis modulates TNF-α-AMPK axis, IL-10 and other AP biomarkers, which is protected by vitamin E; thus, may offer therapeutic potential in humans.

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Form of Vitamin E Supplementation Affects Oxidative and Inflammatory Response in Exercising Horses

Madison M Fagan, Patricia Harris, Amanda Adams, Robert Pazdro, Amber Krotky, Jarrod Call, Kylee J Duberstein

J Equine Vet Sci . 2020 Aug;91:103103. doi: 10.1016/j.jevs.2020.103103. Epub 2020 Apr 29.


Vitamin E is an essential antioxidant that may benefit athletes by reducing oxidative stress and influencing cytokine expression. Supplements can be derived from natural or manufactured synthetic sources. This study aimed to determine (1) if supplemental vitamin E is beneficial to exercising horses and (2) if there is a benefit of natural versus synthetic vitamin E. After 2 weeks on the control diet (vitamin E-deficient grain and hay), 18 horses were divided into three groups and fed the control diet plus (1) 1000 IU/d synthetic α-tocopherol (SYN-L), (2) 4000 IU/d synthetic α-tocopherol (SYN-H), or (3) 4000 IU/d RRR-α-tocopherol (natural source [NAT]). On day 7, horses began a 6-week training protocol, with standard exercise tests (SETs) performed before and after the 6-week protocol. Venous blood samples were collected on days 0, 7, 29, and 49. Horses fed NAT had higher α-tocopherol (P < .05) at post-SET1 through post-SET2. Plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance levels were lower in NAT versus SYN-L horses after SET2 (P = .02). Serum aspartate aminotransferase was lower after exercise in NAT horses versus SYN-L and SYN-H (P = .02), and less reduction in stride duration was seen after exercise in NAT as compared with SYN-L and SYN-H (P = .02). Gene expression of tumor necrosis factor α was lower in NAT compared with SYN-H (P = .01) but not SYN-L. In conclusion, feeding higher levels of natural vitamin E source resulted in higher serum α-tocopherol levels as well as some improvement in oxidative and inflammatory response and improved functional outcomes in response to an exercise test.

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