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Vitamin E identified as potential weapon against obesity
Date:4/23/2013

ase. To test this hypothesis, the team studied a mouse that was engineered to lack a protein that regulates the levels of vitamin E in the body. As expected, they observed increased oxidative stress, fat deposition and other signs of liver injury in the mice. Importantly, points out Manor, "supplementation with vitamin E averted the majority of NASH-related symptoms in these animals, confirming the relationship between vitamin E deficiency and liver disease."

The precise effects of vitamin E on health have previously been difficult to ascertain, though its antioxidative properties were suggested to offer some protection from a variety of well-known maladies, including heart disease, cancer and neurological diseases such as Alzheimer's and Lou Gehrig's disease (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS).

"These findings may have a significant impact on public health," says Manor, "as the vast majority of adults in the United States do not consume the amount of vitamin E recommended by the National Institute of Medicine."

For adults, the recommended dietary allowance of vitamin E is 15 milligrams a day. Vegetable oils, nuts and seeds, leafy greens and fortified cereals commonly contain vitamin E.

"Simple and affordable dietary intervention may benefit people at risk for this debilitating disease," Manor says.

There is currently no treatment for NASH, making it one of the most common reasons for liver transplantation. Manor also points out that "NASH piggybacks on the two great epidemics of our time: obesity and Type 2 diabetes."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, obesity affects more than one-third of adults and one-sixth of children in the U.S., while nearly one in 10 Americans today suffers from diabetes, rates that have been climbing over the past two decades. Thus, for Manor, the significance of his group's findings is not only the possibility that they will aid those who are currently
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Contact: Angela Hopp
ahopp@asbmb.org
713-471-4541
Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology
Source:Eurekalert

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