, Volume 28, Issue 2, pp 149-156
Date: 25 Sep 2009

Vitamin E exhibits bone anabolic actions in normal male rats

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Abstract

Recently, vitamin E has been found to promote the bone structure of nicotine-treated rats well above their baseline values, thus suggesting that vitamin E may have some anabolic action. A bone anabolic agent acts by improving the bone structure leading to stronger bone. To assess the possible anabolic action vitamin E on bone, we supplemented α-tocopherol (ATF) or γ-tocotrienol (GTT) at 60 mg/kg or vehicle [normal control (NC) group] for 4 months to normal male rats and measured their bone structure and biomechanical properties. Histomorphometric analysis revealed that vitamin E-supplemented rats have better trabecular volume, thickness, number, and separation than rats receiving vehicle only. For the first time we reported that GTT improves all the parameters of bone biomechanical strength, while ATF only improved some of the parameters compared to the NC group. Vitamin E supplementation, especially with the gamma isomer, improves bone structure, which contributed to stronger bone. Therefore, vitamin E has the potential to be used as an anabolic agent to treat osteoporosis or as bone supplements for young adults to prevent osteoporosis in later years.