In the first study, collaborating scientists at Wayne State University fed participants 400 milligrams of a time-release formulation of a supplement containing primarily TCT. Researchers collected blood samples from the participants two, four, six and eight hours after supplementation.
Sen said the maximum TCT concentrations in the bloodstream of supplemented patients averaged concentrations between 12 and 30 times higher than that needed to completely prevent stroke-related neurodegeneration as determined by earlier research.
Conventional wisdom has suggested that TCT, if eaten, cannot be carried to organs because the protein known as tocopherol transfer protein (TTP), which delivers TCP throughout the body, doesn't transport TCT very well.
"Our results demonstrate that TCT is efficiently delivered to the bloodstream despite the fact that the transfer protein has a lower affinity for TCT than it has for TCP," Sen said. Absorption of TCT is increased when the supplement is taken with fat-containing food, so the research participants took the study supplement with a high-fat (60 grams) meal to increase the efficiency of absorption.
The findings corresponded closely with previous work as well as the more recent study that sought to determine the levels at which TCT functions as an antioxidant, an agent that protects cells against the effects of free radicals. Free radicals are potentially damaging by-products of energy metabolism that can damage cells and are implicated in the development of cardiovascular disease and cancer. The tocopherol, or most common, form of vitamin E is known for its antioxidant properties.
In previous studies, the scientists found that moderate oral doses of TCT before a stroke significantly reduced stroke injury in hypertensive rats.
Contact: Emily Caldwell
Ohio State University