Vitamin E found to ease chronic inflammation

December 5th, 2008 - 2:19 pm ICT by IANS  

New York, Dec 5 (IANS) Vitamin E may ease chronic inflammation, particularly in the elderly, diabetics or heart patients, according to a new study.Past research indicates that antioxidant properties of Vitamin E may be associated with reduced expression of certain pro-inflammatory cytokines, as found in test tube experiments (in vitro), in various types of cells.

Cytokines are regulatory proteins that function as intercellular communicators that assist the immune system in generating a response.

To consider whether the administration of Vitamin E might have similar effects on skeletal and cardiac muscle within the body (in vivo), Kimberly Huey, professor and a team of University of Illinois (U-I) researchers put Vitamin E to the test in mice.

The team included study designer Rodney Johnson, U-I professor of animal sciences, whose previous work has suggested a possible link, in mice, between short-term Vitamin E supplementation and reduced inflammation in the brain.

Researchers investigated the effects of prior administration of Vitamin E in mice that were then injected with a low dose of E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to induce acute systemic inflammation. The effects were compared with those found in placebo control groups, said an U-I release.

“The mice were administered Vitamin E for three days prior to giving them what amounts to a minor systemic bacterial infection,” Huey said. “One thing we did - in addition to (looking at) the cytokines - was to look, in the muscle, at the amount of oxidised proteins.

Among the team’s major findings, Huey said, was that “there was a significant reduction in the amount of LPS-induced oxidised proteins with Vitamin E compared to placebo.”

“So that’s a good thing,” she said. “Potentially, if you reduce the oxidised proteins, that may correlate to increased muscle strength.”

The study was published in the December issue of Experimental Physiology.

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