Vitamin E tocotrienols may improve markers of metabolic syndrome: Rat data

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© Getty Images / slpu9945
© Getty Images / slpu9945

Related tags Metabolic syndrome Nutrition

Lab rats with metabolic syndrome fed a diet supplemented with a full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex showed improvements in blood pressure, blood lipids and liver health, says a new study from Monash University Malaysia.

Rats fed a high fat diet for eight weeks developed metabolic syndrome, a condition characterized by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.

Supplementing their diets for a further four weeks with the the EVNol SupraBio-branded palm tocotrienol complex (supplied by ExcelVite) led to a reversal in hypertension, hypercholesterolemia and fatty liver, according to findings published in Nutrients​.

In addition, the tocotrienol supplement was associated with an inhibition of protein glycation to reduce glycated haemoglobin A1c (HbA1c – a marker of long-term presence of excess glucose in the blood) and advanced glycation end products (AGE – which are reported to contribute to increased oxidant stress and inflammation).

“A [tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) from palm oil] for four weeks in rats with metabolic syndrome showed significant improvements in blood pressure, cholesterol profile, and systemic antioxidant defense in addition to a reduction in hepatic steatosis, proatherogenic markers such as myeloperoxidase, and proinflammatory markers such as advanced glycation end products,” ​wrote the authors.

“As such, in light of the beneficial effects on cardiovascular health, lipid metabolism, redox balance, and anti-inflammation, a TRF is undoubtedly a promising candidate for metabolic syndrome therapy.”

Study details

The Monash University Malaysia researchers divided 21 rats into three equal groups: The control group consumed a normal rat chow diet, while the other two groups consumed the high-fat diet for eight weeks to induce metabolic syndrome with or without the supplemental tocotrienol-rich ingredient for a further four weeks. The daily dose of the tocotrienol-rich fraction was 60mg/kg.

Results showed that the high-fat fed animals developed full blown metabolic syndrome but four weeks of tocotrienol supplementation was associated with reversals in many of the end-points measured, including blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and markers of liver health. However, not effects were observed for fat deposit, glucose level, plasma triglycerides or the expression of PPAR-alpha or gamma in the liver. PPARs are involved with regulation of fatty acid oxidation, lipid and glucose metabolism, transport through cell membranes, mitochondrial metabolism and cell proliferation and apoptosis.

Supporting earlier human data

Vitamin E

Vitamin E is a family of eight separate but related molecules: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Tocotrienols are derived from three major sources, including rice, palm and annatto.

The study’s results were welcomed by Bryan See, Business Development Manager of ExcelVite, which provided the tocotrienol ingredient used in the study. “In addition to the potent antioxidant property of tocotrienol which plays an important role in restoring antioxidant capacity and attenuating oxidative stress in metabolic syndrome condition, this study provides exciting results that for the first time, reveal the suppression of glycation by EVNol SupraBio bioenhanced full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex, which may reduce glycated haemoglobin and AGE in the liver,” ​said See.

“We are absolutely delighted with this new finding and research development in metabolic syndrome – as it mirrors the findings of our earlier human studies that show EVNol SupraBio bioenhanced palm tocotrienol complex is beneficial for maintaining healthy cholesterol level, supports healthy blood pressure, and improves fatty liver that collectively may reduce the risk for metabolic syndrome condition.”

Source:  Nutrients
2017, 9​(9). doi:10.3390/nu9090984
“The ameliorative effects of a tocotrienol-rich fraction on the AGE-RAGE axis and hypertension in high-fat-diet-fed rats with metabolic syndrome”
Authors: H.S. Cheng et al.

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