Monday, September 15, 2008

Alpha and gamma-tocopherol reduce oxidative stress and inflammation markers in metabolic syndrome patients

The March 15, 2008 issue of Free Radical Biology and Medicine published the results of a study conducted by investigators at the University of California Davis Medical Center in collaboration with researchers at the Linus Pauling Institute who report that supplementing with alpha and gamma-tocopherol reduced oxidative stress and inflammation in men and women with metabolic syndrome. Gamma-tocopherol is one of eight forms of vitamin E, which include four tocopherols and four tocotrienols.

Alpha-tocopherol has been considered to be the main form of vitamin E for a number of years; however, research continues to confirm the importance of gamma and other tocopherols in human health.

Eighty men and women who had at least three metabolic syndrome features, which include increased waist circumference, elevated triglycerides, hypertension, elevated fasting blood sugar and low high density lipoprotein cholesterol, participated in the current study. The subjects were divided to receive 800 milligrams alpha-tocopherol, 800 milligrams gamma-tocopherol, 800 mg alpha plus 800 milligrams gamma-tocopherol, or a placebo daily for six weeks.

Blood samples collected upon enrollment and at the end of the study were analyzed for inflammatory cytokines (interleukin-1b, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, interleukin 6), C-reactive protein (a marker of inflammation), oxidative stress biomarkers, and other factors. Urine samples were tested for nitrotyrosine, a marker for protein modification by nitric oxide-derived oxidants, which may be an inflammatory mediator in heart disease. Alpha and gamma-tocopherol and levels of their metabolites were measured in plasma and urine. Continue Reading

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