Immune Health

Human Studies/ Cohort Studies


Article Study objective/ findings

Perturbation of cellular immune functions in cigarette smokers and protection by palm oil vitamin E supplementation

Jubri, Z., (2013). Nutr J.

This study involved a group of smokers and nonsmokers who received 200 mg/day palmvitee and placebo for the control group. Blood samples were taken at 0, 12 and 24 weeks of supplementation. Smoking caused alterations in certain immune parameters and palmvitee supplementation tended to cause an increase in lymphocytes transformation test but had no effect on CD3+, CD4+, CD8+, NK cells and B cells except B cells percentage in nonsmokers.


In vivo / Animal Studies

Article Study objective/ findings
Supplementation with natural forms of vitamin E augments antigen-specific TH1-type immune response to tetanus toxoid.

Radhakrishnan, A.K., (2013). Biomed Res Int.


This study compared the ability of three forms of vitamin E [tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), alpha-tocopherol (α-T), and delta-tocotrienol (δ-T3)] to enhance immune response to tetanus toxoid (TT) immunisation in a mouse model. Supplementation with δ-T3 or TRF can enhance immune response to TT immunisation and production of cytokines that promote cell-mediated (TH1) immune response.
Inhibition of nitric oxide in LPS-stimulated macrophages of young and senescent mice by δ-tocotrienol and quercetin

Qureshi, A. A., (2011). Lipids Health Dis.

The present study was carried out in order to further explore the potential effects of diet supplementation with naturally-occurring inhibitors (δ-tocotrienol and quercetin) on LPS-stimulated production of NO, TNF-α, and other pro-inflammatory cytokines involved in the ageing process. The present findings of inhibition of NO production by quercetin and δ-tocotrienol may be of clinical significance treating several inflammatory diseases, including ageing process.
Dietary supplementation with tocotrienols enhances immune function in C57BL/6 mice.

Ren, Z., (2010). J Nutr.


Young (4 mo) and old (23 mo) C57BL/6 mice were fed 0.1% Tocomin 50%, a mixture of T3 and alpha-Toc or a control diet containing an equal amount of alpha-Toc for 6 wk. All T3 enhanced lymphocyte proliferation in old but not young mice with a potency order of alpha- > gamma- > delta-T3. Together, these results suggest a beneficial effect of T3 in improving the age-related decline in T cell function.


Dietary effect of tocopherols and tocotrienols on the immune function of spleen and mesenteric lymph node lymphocytes in Brown Norway rats

Gu, J.Y., (1999). Biosci Biotechnol Biochem.


The immunoregulatory effects of dietary alpha-tocopherol (Toc) and tocotrienols (T-3) on humoral and cell-mediated immunity and cytokine productions were examined in Brown Norway rats. We found that the IgA and IgG productivity of spleen and mesenteric lymph node (MLN) lymphocytes was significantly enhanced in the rats fed on Toc or T-3, irrespective of concanavalin A (Con A) stimulation of the lymphocytes. On the contrary, the IgE productivity of lymphocytes from the rats fed on Toc or T-3 was less without Con A stimulation, but was greater in the presence of Con A, especially in the T-3 group. Toc or T-3 feeding significantly decreased the proportion of CD4+ T cells and the ratio of CD4+/CD8+ in both spleen and MLN lymphocytes of the rats fed on Toc or T-3. The interferon-gamma productivity of MLN lymphocytes was higher in the rats fed on Toc or T-3 than in those fed on a control diet in the presence of Con A, while that of spleen lymphocytes was lower in the rats fed on Toc or T-3. In addition, T-3 feeding decreased the productivity of tumor necrosis factor-alpha of spleen lymphocytes, while it enhanced the productivity of MLN lymphocytes. These results suggest that oral administration of Toc and T-3 affects the proliferation and function of spleen and MLN lymphocytes.


Review Articles

Article Study objective/ findings
Role of NF-kappaB in the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols.

Kaileh & Sen (2010). J Am Coll Nutr.


The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors regulates genes that are critical for inflammation and immunity. In most cells, NF-kappaB function is induced upon activation of cells by various stimuli. However, constitutive NF-kappaB activity is an equally important aspect of NF-kappaB function that is particularly relevant to chronic inflammation and cancer. Here, we provide a brief overview of NF-kappaB biology and discuss the role of NF-kappaB in mediating the anti-inflammatory effects of tocotrienols The NF-kappaB family of transcription factors is a central player in the regulation of inflammation and immune responses. Consequently, NF-kappaB dysregulation has been implicated in diverse human pathologies ranging from autoimmune diseases to cancers. Additionally, there is considerable interest in the contribution of NF-kappaB-mediated chronic inflammation in aging. Because NF-kappaB-dependent gene regulation is important in virtually all mammalian cell types, it is critical to keep in mind some basic features of its functions when considering interventional therapeutics.


Studies on the Biological Activity of Tocotrienols

Komiyama, K., (1989). Chemical and Pharmaceutical Bulletin.

Tocotrienols were evaluated for activity against transplantable murine tumors inoculated i.p. into mouse, and the activities of two tocotrienols and α-tocopherols were compared. When the compounds were injected i.p., α- and γ-tocotrienols were effective against sarcoma 180, Ehrlich carcinoma, and IMC carcinoma, and γ-tocotrienol showed a slight life-prolonging effect in mice with Meth A fibrosarcoma, but the tocotrienols had no antitumor activity against P388 leukemia at doses of 5-40 mg/kg/d. On the other hand α-tocopherol had only a slight effect against sarcoma 180 and IMC carcinoma. The antitumor activity of γ-tocotrienol was higher than that of α-tocotrienol. Tocotrienols showed growth inhibition of human and mouse tumor cells when the cells were exposed to these agents for 72h in vitro, whereas tocopherol did not show any marked cytotoxic activity. Alpha- and γ-tocotrienols had inhibitory effects on lipid peroxidation of murine microsomes by adriamycin.