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Tocotrienols are playing the key role in mitigating ulcerative colitis

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by damaged colonic mucosa layer due to excessive inflammatory reactions and oxidative stress. It is affecting millions of patients in mostly developed countries. Preventive measures, aiming to keep the disease in remission, are sought after for this incurable, recurring autoimmune disease.

Tocotrienols (T3s), members of vitamin E family, possesses strong anti-oxidative and anti-inflammatory properties. This murine study aims to examine the preventive use of Tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) in mitigating damages in the colon. Mice were pre-supplemented with TRF or alpha-tocopherol (α-TP) for a week before acute UC was induced. Observable clinical manifestations and quality of stool were assessed; post-mortem histopathological and biomolecular analyses were done. Results showed that there were improvements on clinical conditions in TRF-supplemented animals; these included less reduction in body weight, absence of faecal blood and better stool quality.

Histopathological analysis showed more intact mucosa layer in these animals. Reduction in the level of nitric oxide and malondialdehyde in the colons of TRF-supplemented animals indicated less oxidative local environment. TRF supplementation also reduced the levels of some pro-inflammatory cytokines and proteins, including tumour necrosis factor-α and myeloperoxidase. In contrast, α-TP supplementation did not demonstrate evident clinical and histopathological improvements.

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