Cook-Mills had done previous allergy research in mice showing alpha-tocopherol decreased lung inflammation, protecting healthy lung function and gamma-tocopherol
increased lung inflammation and airway hyperresponsiveness, a characteristic of asthma.
While both alpha- and gamma-tocopherols
are potent antioxidants, gamma-tocopherol
has a unique function.
Major Finding: Men given vitamin [pounds sterling] supple ments had a 17% relative increase in the risk of prostate cancer compared with men given placebo; however, risk also varied with baseline plasma levels of alpha-and gamma-tocopherols
and its major metabolite, in contrast to [alpha]-tocopherol, inhibit cyclooxygenase activity in macrophages and epithelial cells.
Dr Jiyan Ma, one of the scientists who conducted the research at Ohio State University in Columbus, USA, said, 'We think that gamma-tocopherol
may have this kind of damaging effect on nearly every type of cell in the body.
GTP-0805 is a phosphorylated variant of gamma-tocopherol
No one understood what happened to gamma-tocopherol
or how it was excreted from the body.
Now, Stephan Christen of the University of California, Berkeley and his colleagues report that gamma-tocopherol
provides valuable protection from nitrogen oxides, a broad class of reactive compounds that alpha-tocopherol largely ignores.
The results showed that dietary alpha-tocopherol did not influence gamma-tocopherol
and tocotrienol concentration in the serum and tissues--including liver, adrenal glands, small intestine, heart, muscle as well as adipose tissues.
Subjects were randomized to receive a solution containing 500 mg of gamma-tocopherol
or a placebo for seven days.
The findings illustrate that after eating pecans, gamma-tocopherol
levels in the body doubled and unhealthy oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol in the blood decreased by as much as 33 percent.
For example, some studies suggest that the gamma-tocopherol
form of vitamin E protects the prostate.