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Calcif Tissue Int. 1995 Oct;57(4):293-300.

Vitamin E stimulates trabecular bone formation and alters epiphyseal cartilage morphometry.

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  • 1Department of Food Science, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana 47907-1160, USA.


The effects of dietary vitamin E (VIT E) and lipids on tissue peroxidation and fatty acid composition, epiphyseal growth plate cartilage development, and trabecular bone formation were evaluated in chicks. A 2 x 2 factorial design was followed using two levels (30 and 90 IU/kg of diet) of dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate and two different dietary lipids. The basal semipurified diet contained one of the following lipid treatments: anhydrous butter oil (40 g/kg) + soybean oil (60 g/kg), [BSO], or soybean oil (100 g/kg), [SBO]. After 14 days of feeding, the level of alpha tocopheryl in plasma was higher and thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) were less in plasma and liver of chicks supplemented with 90 IU of VIT E compared with those given 30 IU of VIT E. Body weights and tibiotarsal bone lengths were not affected by the dietary treatments. Saturated fatty acids (14:0, 15:0, 16:0, 17:0, and 18:0) were increased in the tibiotarsal bone of chicks fed the BSO diet. In contrast, total polyunsaturated fatty acids and the ratio unsaturated fatty acids/saturated fatty acids were higher is plasma of chicks fed SBO compared with the values from chicks fed BSO. The thickness of the entire growth plate cartilage and the lower hypertrophic chondrocyte zone was significantly greater in chicks fed 90 IU/kg of VIT E. Kinetic parameters on bone histomorphometry indicated that mineral apposition rate was higher in chicks fed 90 IU of VIT E. The interaction effect between the VIT E and BSO treatments led to the highest trabecular bone formation rate among the groups. These data suggest that VIT E protects against cellular lipid peroxidation in cartilage to sustain normal bone growth and modeling.

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