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Advances in Pharmacological Sciences
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 142702, 7 pages
Review Article

The Anti-Inflammatory Role of Vitamin E in Prevention of Osteoporosis

Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, The National University of Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 21 July 2011; Revised 26 September 2011; Accepted 29 September 2011

Academic Editor: Esra Küpeli Akkol

Copyright © 2012 A. S. Nazrun et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


There is growing evidence that inflammation may be one of the causal factors of osteoporosis. Several cytokines such as IL-1, IL-6, RANKL, OPG, and M-CSF were implicated in the pathogenesis of osteoporosis. These cytokines are important determinants of osteoclast differentiation and its bone resorptive activity. Anticytokine therapy using cytokine antagonists such as IL-receptor antagonist and TNF-binding protein was able to suppress the activity of the respective cytokines and prevent bone loss. Several animal studies have shown that vitamin E in the forms of palm-derived tocotrienol and α-tocopherol may prevent osteoporosis in rat models by suppressing IL-1 and IL-6. Free radicals are known to activate transcription factor NFκB which leads to the production of bone resorbing cytokines. Vitamin E, a potent antioxidant, may be able to neutralise free radicals before they could activate NFκB, therefore suppressing cytokine production and osteoporosis. Vitamin E has also been shown to inhibit COX-2, the enzyme involved in inflammatory reactions. Of the two types of vitamin E studied, tocotrienol seemed to be better than tocopherol in terms of its ability to suppress bone-resorbing cytokines.