Tocotrienol-rich vitamin E improves diabetic nephropathy and persists 6-9 months after washout: a phase IIa randomized controlled trial

Tan GCJ, Tan SMQ, Phang SCW, Ng YT, Ng EY, Ahmad B, Palamisamy UDM, Kadir KA


Chronic hyperglycemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus increases oxidative stress and inflammation which contributes to long-term diabetic kidney disease. Tocotrienol-rich vitamin E, as Tocovid, has been shown to reduce oxidative stress and inflammation to ameliorate diabetes in rat models and human subjects. In this prospective, multicenter, double-blinded, placebo-controlled clinical trial, 54 patients (duration = 18.4 years, HbA1c = 8.8%) with diabetic nephropathy were randomized to receive Tocovid 200 mg or placebo for 12 weeks. Fasting blood samples were taken to measure HbA1c, serum creatinine, estimate glomerular filtration rate (eGFR), urine albumin:creatinine ratio, malondialdehyde, tumor necrosis factor receptor-1, vascular cell adhesion molecule-1 (VCAM-1), and thromboxane-B2. Patients were reassessed 6-9 months post-washout. After 12 weeks of supplementation, Tocovid significantly decreased serum creatinine levels (mean difference: -3.3 ± 12.6 versus 5.4 ± 14.2, p = 0.027) and significantly increase eGFR (mean difference: 1.5 ± 7.6 versus -2.9 ± 8.0, p = 0.045) compared with placebo. There were no significant changes in HbA1c, blood pressure, and other parameters. Subgroup analysis revealed that in patients with low serum vitamin E concentrations at baseline, Tocovid reduced serum creatinine, eGFR, and VCAM-1 significantly. After 6-9 months of washout, persistent difference in serum creatinine remained between groups (mean difference: 0.82 ± 8.33 versus 11.26 ± 15.47, p = 0.031), but not eGFR. Tocovid at 400 mg/day significantly improved renal function in 12 weeks of supplementation, as assessed by serum creatinine and eGFR, which remained significant 6-9 months post-washout.

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