Friday, March 18, 2011

ALA + Vitamin E Make Up for Fructose Induced Cardiovascular and Metabolic Changes

Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) and vitamin E are among the most investigated and best-known natural antioxidants. And, despite the fact that scientists came to realize, that both, ALA as well as alpha-tocopherol, are far from being the saviors of the metabolically deranged, they were once hailed as, a recent study from the University of Queensland (Patel. 2011) demonstrates their therapeutic potential in an animal model that (unfortunately) is not far from the high fructose corn syrup fed morbidly obese man/woman in a western(-ized) society.

Patel et al. found that supplementation with vitamin E (either α-tocopherol or tocotrienol-rich fraction, 0.84 g/kg food) and α-lipoic acid (1.6 g/kg food) could prevent (high fructose diet + Vit E + ALA) and even reverse (Vit E + ALA after high fructose diet for 8 weeks; reversal protocol) "glucose intolerance, hypertension, and increased collagen deposition in the heart together with an increased ventricular stiffness" in rats fed a high fructose diet over a course of 16 (prevention) / 8 + 8 (reversal) weeks.
Figure 1: (a): Plasma glucose concentrations following oral gavage of glucose (2 g/kg) recorded after 16 weeks for rats fed with corn starch (⬤), fructose (⚪), or fructose with α-tocopherol and α-lipoic acid as either prevention (FTPP) (▲) or reversal (FTPR) (▾) protocols. (Patel. 2011)
As a faithful visitor of the SuppVersity, you probably won't be surprised to read that supplementation with a tocotrienol enriched vitamin E source produced even more favorable outcomes in terms of blood glucose (5.0 vs. 6.4mmol/L in the prevention groups) and the other markers of metabolic health. It should not astonish you, anyway. It's no coincidence that nature provides us with certain nutrients in certain ratios and isolated alpha-tocopherol is something you won't find in nature...