Jump to content

Score One for Antioxidants - Vit. E


Recommended Posts

I've pasted the article here since I don't know if a link would work because a log in may be required but here is the link anyway:


Scroll down to the article about Vit. E

Here is the entire article:


There has been so much negative publicity surrounding the use of antioxidants by patients undergoing treatment for cancer that one could be forgiven for getting the impression that it is the use of antioxidants, rather than the toxicity of chemotherapy, that most seriously threatens the patient’s immune system. But now comes a report from the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) with some surprisingly positive things to say about a vitamin E derivative. (The report appeared October 1, 2006 in the journal Cancer Research.)

University of Arizona scientists administered alpha-TEA, a chemically altered form of vitamin E, to cancer-susceptible mice via their food, and found that by increasing dietary intake of the vitamin in this way they were able to reduce the spread of an aggressive type of breast cancer in these animals. The scientists suggested that the compound, taken in pill form, could be used to treat human metastatic cancer.

Emmanuel T. Akporiaye, Ph.D., Professor in the Department of Immunobiology at the University of Arizona, reported that the synthetic vitamin was actually more effective and more clinically useful when put in food than when delivered via injections or forced feeding.

"These preliminary studies are very promising, and it could be that combining this synthetic vitamin E derivative with other anti-cancer treatments may offer the potential of both treating and preventing human breast cancer," Dr. Akporiaye said.

It is not generally believed that vitamin E (or alpha-tocopherol) can destroy tumor cells by itself. So, in order to improve the vitamin’s cancer killing ability, more potent derivatives have been developed in the laboratory. One such compound is alpha-tocopheryl succinate (alpha-TOS), which has already been advocated as a cancer preventive. Another is alpha-tocopheryloxyacetic acid (alpha-TEA), an acetic acid derivative of vitamin E, which is the subject of this latest paper.

By replacing the hydroxyl group in vitamin E with an acid one helps force cancer cells to self-destruct, according to Dr. Akporiaye. These acid-incorporating compounds work to free up certain apoptosis-inducing proteins that are normally kept in an inactive state in the cell. (Apoptosis is the process by which cells self-destruct in a programmed and orderly fashion.)

"Cell survival is maintained when pro-apoptotic proteins are confined, and these synthetic forms of vitamin E release them, pushing the cell into committing suicide," Prof. Akporiaye said. "Only a little part of vitamin E is changed in these synthetic derivatives, but they show amazing anticancer properties, and they selectively target tumor cells," he added.

Normally, vitamin E is only soluble in fats. But by adding sodium hydroxide to the vitamin, scientists have also managed to make it soluble in water. This process creates what are known as "vesiculated" forms of the vitamin, called respectively V-alpha-TOS and V-alpha-TEA. Experimentally, they have been used to treat diverse cancers such as melanoma, lung and breast cancer in rodent models.

In the latest study, the Arizona researchers evaluated anti-tumor effects of V-alpha-TOS and V-alpha-TEA on mice that had an aggressive form of mammary cancer, similar to human breast cancer in that it readily metastasizes. They looked at how well alpha-TEAwould affect tumor growth if incorporated into the food that the mice were given daily.

They found that by injecting V-alpha-TOS or V-alpha-TEA into the peritoneal cavity of the mice they were able to reduce the average volume of tumors two-fold, when compared to control mice that did not receive such injections.

A Dietary Application

To gauge the effectiveness of a purely dietary application, both as a preventive and as a cancer treatment, the researchers had some special rat chow manufactured which incorporated a fairly large quantity of alpha-TEA.

In the prevention study, mice ate alpha-TEA-laced chow beginning on the same day that they were injected with mammary tumor cells that are known to spread quickly to lungs and bones. These mice were then allowed to eat as much food as they wanted. At the end of 29 days, the average tumor volume was reduced by an extraordinary 6.7-fold, compared to control mice who had not been fed alpha-TEA.

In the treatment experiment, mice started eating alpha-TEA chow 11 days after tumors were first implanted. In the experimental group, scientists observed a 3.6-fold reduction in average tumor volume when compared to control mice, the Arizona biologists said.

In both the prevention and treatment studies, mice that were fed alpha-TEA-laced chow had a 4.8-fold reduction in the number of tumors that had spread to the lungs, compared to control mice. "The results were very impressive," Dr. Akporiaye told AACR. "The chow was very effective in slowing down the growth rate of the tumor and significantly reducing metastases."

In addition, the alpha-TEA-laced diet produced no visible adverse effects, not even weight loss, he said.

"The combined characteristics of ease of delivery, relevance of route of delivery and selectivity for killing tumor cells suggest that dietary alpha-TEA may be useful for treating metastatic breast cancer," according to the veteran scientist, whose main interest is tumor immunology and cancer vaccine development.

The Arizona researchers are now testing the effect of reducing the doses of alpha-TEA in the animal chow and they plan to test this synthetic vitamin in combination with so-called dendritic cell immunotherapy. "When you kill tumor cells, they release antigens that can be picked up by specialized cells that stimulate the immune system, and this two-step process could provide a longer lasting outcome," Dr. Akporiaye said.

Some CAM-oriented scientists have long contended that semi-synthetic forms of vitamin E could be useful in cancer prevention and treatment, and this report from Arizona seemingly confirms and extends their finding. In particular, Kedar Prasad, PhD, formerly of the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center, Denver, has long contended that vitamin E succinate has anticancer properties. In fact, much to the consternation of some cautious oncologists, he formulated a vitamin E succinate product line for a major supplement manufacturer (Solgar), and this has long been popular with alternative practitioners. The latest findings from Arizona broadly support the idea that vitamin E has powerful anticancer properties.

--Ralph W. Moss, Ph.D.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use. We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.