Vitamin E protects brain cells after stroke

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Old 07-Jul-2011
Vitamin E protects brain cells after stroke

Washington July 7:

A natural form of Vitamin E called alpha-tocotrienol can activate mechanisms that clear toxins from nerve cells, preventing their death following a stroke.

This process is one of three identified so far that this form of Vitamin E uses to protect brain cells after a stroke. It might be more potent than othter drugs targeting single mechanisms for preventing stroke damage.

Ohio State University researchers previously reported that the alpha-tocotrienol protects the brain, post stroke, by blocking an enzyme from releasing toxic fatty acids and inhibiting gene activity that can lead to neuron (nerve cell) death, according to a university statement.

Its symptoms are sudden, caused by an abrupt interruption of blood flow to the brain. The process only takes a few seconds to shut down the affected brain part. Symptoms include weakness or numbness of the face, arm and or leg on one side of body, inability to speak, write or grasp spoken language, double vision and unusually severe headache.

Alpha-tocopherol is the most common form of vitamin E, found abundantly in palm oil, vitamin supplements and fortified foods. Alpha-tocotrienol from palm oil has up to 60 times the antioxidant activity as alpha-tocopherol.

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