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Antioxid Redox Signal. 2006 May-Jun;8(5-6):1059-68.

Postprandial levels of the natural vitamin E tocotrienol in human circulation.

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  • 1Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA.


Compared to tocopherols, tocotrienols are poorly understood. The postabsorptive fate of tocotrienol isomers and their association with lipoprotein subfractions was examined. Normocholesterolemic women were subjected to an oral fat challenge supplemented with vitamin E (capsule containing 77 mg alpha-tocotrienol, 96 mg alpha-tocotrienol, 3 mg gamma-tocotrienol, 62 mg alpha-tocopherol, and 96 mg gamma-tocopherol). Plasma samples were collected at every 2 h intervals for up to 8 h following a one-time supplementation. Lipoproteins were measured by NMR spectroscopy, and subfractions of lipoproteins were isolated by density gradient ultracentrifugation. The maximal alpha-tocotrienol concentrations in supplemented individuals averaged approximately 3 microM in blood plasma, 1.7 microM in LDL, 0.9 microM in triglyceride-rich lipoprotein, and 0.5 microM in HDL. The peak plasma level corresponded to 12- to 30-fold more than the concentration of alpha-tocotrienol required to completely prevent stroke-related neurodegeneration. Tocotrienols were detected in the blood plasma and all lipoprotein subfractions studied postprandially.

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