The present study aims to examine the effects of a palm-oil-derived vitamin E mixture containing tocotrienol (approximately 70%) and tocopherol (approximately 30%) on plasma lipids and on the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in rabbits given a 2% cholesterol diet. Eighteen New Zealand White rabbits (2.2-2.8 kg) were divided into three groups; group 1 (control) was fed a normal diet, group 2 (AT) was fed a 2% cholesterol diet and group 3 (PV) was fed a 2% cholesterol diet with oral palm vitamin E (60 mg/kg body weight) given daily for 10 weeks. There were no differences in the total cholesterol and triacylglycerol levels between the AT and PV groups. The PV group had a significantly higher concentrations of HDL-c and a lower TC/HDL-c ratio compared to the AT group (P < 0.003). The aortic tissue content of cholesterol and atherosclerotic lesions were comparable in both the AT and PV groups. However, the PV group had a lower content of plasma and aortic tissue malondialdehyde (P < 0.005). Our findings suggest that despite a highly atherogenic diet, palm vitamin E improved some important plasma lipid parameters, reduced lipid peroxidation but did not have an effect on the atherosclerotic plaque formation.
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