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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 161527, 7 pages
Research Article

Two Different Isomers of Vitamin E Prevent Bone Loss in Postmenopausal Osteoporosis Rat Model

1Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
2Department of Clinical Oral Biology, Faculty of Dentistry, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, 50300 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Received 13 July 2012; Accepted 15 September 2012

Academic Editor: Srijit Das

Copyright © 2012 Norliza Muhammad 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.


Postmenopausal osteoporotic bone loss occurs mainly due to cessation of ovarian function, a condition associated with increased free radicals. Vitamin E, a lipid-soluble vitamin, is a potent antioxidant which can scavenge free radicals in the body. In this study, we investigated the effects of alpha-tocopherol and pure tocotrienol on bone microarchitecture and cellular parameters in ovariectomized rats. Three-month-old female Wistar rats were randomly divided into ovariectomized control, sham-operated, and ovariectomized rats treated with either alpha-tocopherol or tocotrienol. Their femurs were taken at the end of the four-week study period for bone histomorphometric analysis. Ovariectomy causes bone loss in the control group as shown by reduction in both trabecular volume (BV/TV) and trabecular number (Tb.N) and an increase in trabecular separation (Tb.S). The increase in osteoclast surface (Oc.S) and osteoblast surface (Ob.S) in ovariectomy indicates an increase in bone turnover rate. Treatment with either alpha-tocopherol or tocotrienol prevents the reduction in BV/TV and Tb.N as well as the increase in Tb.S, while reducing the Oc.S and increasing the Ob.S. In conclusion, the two forms of vitamin E were able to prevent bone loss due to ovariectomy. Both tocotrienol and alpha-tocopherol exert similar effects in preserving bone microarchitecture in estrogen-deficient rat model.