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Palm International Nutra-Cosmeceutical Conference
(PINC 2015)

International conference to focus
attention on palm oil’s health benefits

Palm phytonutrients in the form of vitamin E tocotrienols,
carotenoids and phenolics are emerging as exciting micronutrients for human health,
backed by rapidly emerging scientific outputs. PINC 2015,
starting 2 August 2015 aims to highlight these positive benefits from the palm oil industry.

New Research to focus on tocotrienols and renal disease

A team of researchers from Nutrition and Food Science (NFS) led by Dr Pramod Khosla, have been awarded a grant by the Malaysian Government to study the effects of Tocotrienol supplementation in patients with end stage renal disease (ESRD) undergoing hemodialysis. The 3 year study, funded by a US $ 2.4 million grant is a collaborative effort between Wayne State University and various dialysis clinics in Michigan (Davita, Great Lakes Dialysis, Henry Ford) as well as dialysis clinics in Malaysia. Collaborators in Malaysia include the Ministry of Health, the National Kidney Foundation, University Kebangsaan Malaysia, University Putra Malaysia and the Malaysian Palm Oil Board.

The study in 800 dialysis patients (equal numbers from Michigan and Kuala Lumpur), will evaluate the efficacy of daily supplementation with 300 mg tocotrienols for up to one year. Tocotrienols, isomers of Vitamin E, are powerful antioxidants with documented anti-inflammatory effects. Additionally, they impact lipid metabolism via a key regulatory enzyme. As ESRD patients are at increased risk for cardiovascular disease with inflammation, oxidative stress and dyslipidemia, being underlying causes, tocotrienol therapy is expected to provide beneficial effects. The work builds on a pilot study by Khosla’s group two years ago and funded partially by Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC).

To study mechanistic aspects of tocotrienols, co-investigator Dr. Smiti Gupta (also from NFS) will evaluate changes in the plasma metabolomic profiles of the patients over the course of the study.

The cross-collaboration will also allow the investigators to evaluate differences in dietary patterns in the two countries. With a patient pool in Michigan of predominantly African-Americans and Caucasians while the Malaysian cohort comprises three distinct ethnicites (Malays, Chinese and Indians), the investigators hope to shed light on possible genetic and metabolic differences in the dialysis populations. Additionally, as a high proportion of dialysis patients suffer from Restless Legs Syndrome, a nagging tingling sensation which impacts the quality of life, the investigators hope to shed some light on the underlying causes for the condition (RLS is believed in part, to be attributed to oxidative stress).

The Michigan research team includes nephrologists James Sondheimer (WSU and Davita), Boniface Tubie (Great Lakes Dialysis) and Lalathkasha Kumbar (Henry Ford), who will be responsible for patient care. In addition, Registered Dietitians, Nurses and technical personnel at each of the dialysis units will assist over the course of the study.

The Michigan arm of the study has been approved by the Institution Review Board at Wayne State and is registered at (Registration # NTC02358967). Patient recruitment is slated to begin in the Fall.


Article Credit:
Dr. Kalyana Sundram and Dr. Pramod Khosla

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