COLUMBUS, Ohio – New research conducted at The Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center suggests an alternate form of natural vitamin E delays the progression of disease in patients awaiting liver transplantation, the only definitive therapy that reduces a patient’s morbidity, mortality and improves their quality of life. The study shows, for the first time, successful delivery of the vitamin – administered orally – to vital human organs such as the brain, heart, liver, skin and fatty tissue.
Researchers at Ohio State’s Wexner Medical Center initially sought to measure levels of vitamin E tocopherol (TCP) and vitamin E tocotrienol (TE) in tissue and vital organs of patients with end stage liver disease. The data displayed a significant increase in TE levels in the bloodstream and tissue of study participants who received daily oral supplements of TE.
“This work is the first to show oral supplements of tocotrienol are being transported to the vital organs of patients,” says Chandan K. Sen, associate dean for translational and applied research in The Ohio State University College of Medicine. “This is exciting evidence for patients at high risk for stroke because our previous work identified low levels of TE to be protective against stroke-induced damage to the brain. Findings of this current research are equally excited for patients on the liver transplant list as it increases their chances of receiving a new liver, and therefore survival.”
Earlier research published by Dr. Sen and colleagues at Ohio State’s Medical Center proved tocotrienol a safe and neuroprotective nutrient, which minimizes stroke-related damage to the brain. “We also showed in previous studies that TE can be part of a regular diet and keeps the brain enriched and better prepared to defend itself,” added Sen, also vice chair for research in Ohio State’s Department of Surgery.
For this recent study, published in the February issue of Journal of Nutrition, researchers studied blood and tissue samples from 80 participants. One cohort involved healthy patients who received oral TE or TCP supplements. Vitamin E levels found in tissue were measured in healthy participants after 12 weeks of receiving oral supplementation. Healthy adult participants were selected for this study because they could receive oral supplements for a designated period of time, whereas the other cohort was bound by surgery schedules.
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