A newly published human clinical study gives new hope for better heart health to people undergoing frequent or ongoing hemodialysis. The study, conducted by researchers at Wayne State University and published in Vascular Health and Risk Management, showed that a unique combination vitamin E tocotrienol-rich fraction helped to improve patients’ lipid profiles in as little as three to four months.
People undergoing frequent/ongoing (chronic) hemodialysis are at higher risk for atherosclerosis because of inflammation, high cholesterol levels and an impaired antioxidant system. Until now, it was unknown how Vitamin E tocotrienols might impact these patients.
The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel trial was conducted on 81 patients undergoing ongoing chronic hemodialysis. Subjects were either given a daily vitamin E capsule containing 180 mg tocotrienols and 40 mg tocopherols, or a placebo. Researchers monitored several markers including C-reactive protein (inflammatory), triglycerides and HDL cholesterol levels.
After 12 and 16 weeks of intervention, those patients taking the Vitamin E supplementation showed greater improvement in their lipid profiles compared to the placebo group. Specifically, their triglycerides were reduced by 33 mg/dL and 35 mg/dL respectively, while no significant improvement was seen in the placebo group. The Vitamin E group also had higher HDL levels than the placebo group. There were no significant differences in any nutritional, inflammatory or oxidative biomarkers during this study.
“This study highlights some important findings, especially in the lipid-altering properties of tocotrienols, which could potentially have clinical implications,” commented lead researcher Pramod Khosla, associate professor, Department of Nutrition and Food Science, Wayne State University. “However as several of the patients were taking different medications it is not known if the TRF acted independently. A multi-centered trial is warranted to confirm these observations.”