Natural form of Vitamin E Protects the Skin & Brain
New research supported by the National Institutes of Health shows that a natural form of vitamin E can trigger the production of a protein in the brain that protects against a stroke. Apparently, the protein called alpha-tocotrienol, known as TCT, clears toxins from nerve cells, preventing those cells from dying after a stroke.
Vitamin E occurs naturally in eight different forms and is abundant in the American diet, as well as sold as a nutritional supplement. The new finding could prove that TCT could be more effective in preventing stroke damage than other drugs, according to Ohio State University scientists.
When TCT is taken orally it influences the production of a protein called MRP1 which clears away a compound that can cause toxicity and cell death as a result of the trauma of blocked blood flow associated with a stroke.
“This is one of the first studies to provide evidence that a safe nutrient – a vitamin – can alter microRNA biology to produce a favorable disease outcome,” said Chandan Sen, professor and vice chair for research in Ohio State’s Department of Surgery and senior author of the study. “Here, a natural nutritional product is simultaneously acting on multiple targets to help prevent stroke-induced brain damage. That is a gifted molecule.”
To date, no tests have been performed on humans, but over the past decade numerous studies have shown very favorable results on how the TCT form of vitamin E protects the brain against stroke damage in animal and cell models.
Stroke is the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, according to the American Stroke Association. Even though clinical trials have not taken place, TCT is set to be used as a preventive nutritional countermeasure for people at high risk for stroke.
So far the natural vitamin has only been studied via oral tests. It remains to be known what sort of preventive effects TCT will have via topical application, such as being used in product formulations like creams or lotions. Regardless if the vitamin is slated for oral use only, it is nonetheless a huge finding in the world of natural ingredients.