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Vitamin E dose-dependently reduces aortic fatty lesion formation in orchidectomized aged rats


Background and aims: Although the cardioprotective effects of supplemental doses of vitamin E have been investigated in several conditions, its role in gonadectomy- induced fatty lesion formation is unclear. The present study was designed to examine the efficacy of vitamin E in a dose-dependent manner on indices of oxidative stress and in preventing the formation of aortic fatty lesions in orchidectomized (Orx) aged rats. Methods: Forty 12-month old male Sprague-Dawley rats were either sham-operated (Sham) or Orx and fed a semi-purified control diet for 120 days. Thereafter, rats were assigned to four treatment groups (n=10): Sham and one Orx group received 75 IU vitamin E and served as controls, and the other two Orx groups received either 250 or 500 IU vitamin E per kg diet for 90 days. Results: Vitamin E at the highest dose (500 IU) was able to lower serum total cholesterol by 16% and significantly increase superoxide dismutase by 9% compared to Orx controls. Similarly, this dose was able to significantly reduce the development of atherosclerotic lesion formation and aortic fatty streak area by 93% compared to Orx controls. Conclusions: The findings of this study suggest that dietary vitamin E supplementation in Orx aged rats provide anti-atherogenic effects, in part, due to vitamin E’s antioxidative properties. Clinical studies are needed to confirm whether supplemental doses of vitamin E can prevent the development of atherosclerosis in older men particularly with low testosterone level.

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Correspondence to Bahram H. Arjmandi PhD, RD.

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Chai, S.C., Arjmandi, B.H. Vitamin E dose-dependently reduces aortic fatty lesion formation in orchidectomized aged rats. Aging Clin Exp Res 23, 11–16 (2011).

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Key words

  • Androgen
  • atherosclerosis
  • rat
  • tocopherol