Anti-inflammatory properties of a-(alpha) and y-(gamma) tocopherol

Author: E Reiter, et al
Source: Molecular Aspect of Medicine; Volume 28, Issues 5–6, October–December 2007, Pages 668–691
Publication Date: 7/15/2013

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Natural vitamin E consists of four different tocopherol and four different tocotrienol homologues (a, ß, ?, d) that all have antioxidant activity. However, recent data indicate that the different vitamin E homologues also have biological activity unrelated to their antioxidant activity. In this review, we discuss the anti-inflammatory properties of the two major forms of vitamin E, a-tocopherol (aT) (alpha) and y-tocopherol (yT) (gamma), and discuss the potential molecular mechanisms involved in these effects. While both tocopherols exhibit anti-inflammatory activity in vitro and in vivo, supplementation with mixed (yT-enriched) (gamma) tocopherols seems to be more potent than supplementation with a (alpha) T alone. This may explain the mostly negative outcomes of the recent large-scale interventional chronic disease prevention trials with aT (alpha) only and thus warrants further investigation.