In rats, palm tocotrienol and carotene demonstrated pneumo-protective effects through the upregulation of antioxidant status and the inhibition of pro-inflammatory cytokines
Recent research has shown that tocotrienol and carotene, derived from palm fruits, can restore antioxidant capacity and inhibit pro-inflammatory cytokines, significantly ameliorating Bleomycin- (BLM)-induced lung injury.
The research, published in Nutrients has implications for the treatment of pulmonary fibrosis, a chronic progressive condition which has recently been reported in some post COVID-19 patients.
In the study, lung fibrosis-induced Sprague-Dawley (SD) Rats were supplemented with either saline, palm tocotrienol complex, palm mixed carotene complex or a combination of palm tocotrienol and carotene for 28 days. The therapeutic efficacy of palm tocotrienol and carotene against BLM-induced lung fibrosis was investigated via the modulation of TGF-β/Smad, PI3K/Akt/mTOR, and NF-κB signalling pathways.
Both palm tocotrienol and palm carotene treatments were found to significantly restore the BLM-induced alterations in anti-inflammatory and antioxidant functions. The treatments reportedly demonstrated pneumo-protective effects through the upregulation of antioxidant status, downregulation of MMP-7 and inflammatory cytokine expressions, oxidative stress, and extracellular matrix and reduction in collagen accumulation.
The findings indicate the potential of supplementation with palm tocotrienol and carotene complex to attenuate BLM-induced lung injury or pulmonary fibrosis in rats, the researchers concluded.
“We are encouraged by these new findings, since it is the first ever study that shows the potential of palm tocotrienol and carotene complex in the restoration of the antioxidant capacity in the lung and the inhibition of inflammatory cytokines as well as amelioration of lung injury. These results imply that these palm phytonutrients are synergistic in their action and may be useful as dietary supplements for post COVID-19 patients and pulmonary or lung health. Of course, this needs to be confirmed by clinical research.” said Lead Researcher, Dr Guiju Sun.
“Numerous reports presently reveal that a severe COVID-19 infection increases the risk of pulmonary fibrosis which is more common in persons with comorbidities such as diabetes, hypertension or cardiovascular disease. There is still no cure for PF. Thus, this new study is a welcomed news in the post COVID-19 era as we move into the endemic phase in dealing with it,” added Dr Ariati Aris, Scientific Affairs Specialist at PhytoGaia.