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Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. 2008 Jul;103(1):55-60. doi: 10.1111/j.1742-7843.2008.00241.x.

Palm tocotrienol exerted better antioxidant activities in bone than alpha-tocopherol.

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Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of vitamin E on the levels of lipid peroxidation and antioxidant enzymes in rat bones. Fifty-six normal male Sprague-Dawley rats, aged 3 months, were randomly divided into seven groups with eight rats in each group. The age-matched control group was given the vehicle olive oil, by oral gavage daily. Six of the treatment groups received either palm tocotrienol or pure alpha-tocopherol at the dose of 30, 60 or 100 mg/kg body weight, by oral gavage daily, 6 days a week for 4 months. Thiobarbituric acid-reactive substance (TBARS) that is an index to measure the level of lipid peroxidation and the antioxidant enzymes, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase levels were measured in the femur at the end of the study. Palm tocotrienol at the dose of 100 mg/kg body weight significantly reduced the TBARS level in the femur with a significant increase in glutathione peroxidase activity compared to the age-matched control group. These were not observed in the alpha-tocopherol groups. Palm tocotrienol was more effective than pure alpha-tocopherol acetate in suppressing lipid peroxidation in bone. Palm tocotrienol showed better protective effect against free radical damage in the femur compared to alpha-tocopherol. This study suggests that palm tocotrienol plays an important role in preventing imbalance in bone metabolism due to free radicals.

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