Cereal Alkylresorcinols Elevate γ-Tocopherol Levels in Rats and Inhibit γ-Tocopherol Metabolism in Vitro

Alastair B. Ross, Yan Chen, Jan Frank, Joy E. Swanson, Robert S. Parker, Arkadiusz Kozubek, Torbjörn Lundh, Bengt Vessby, Per Åman, Afaf Kamal-Eldin

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88 Citations (Scopus)


Alkylresorcinols (AR) are a class of amphiphilic phenolic lipids present in high amounts in wheat and rye bran. They have been reported to be both growth retarding and innocuous when fed to rats, and to have a broad range of bioactivities in vitro, suggested to be related to their ability to bind to proteins and modify membranes. This study was designed to test the effects of AR (purified from rye bran) on growth, tocopherol levels, and cholesterol levels in rats. Rats were fed 1 of 4 different levels of AR for 4 wk: 0 (control), 1, 2, and 4 g/kg diet. AR did not affect final body, liver, or lung weights. The AR diets increased the levels of γ-tocopherol in liver and lungs (P < 0.05). To investigate whether AR could have increased γ-tocopherol levels via inhibition of tocopherol-ω-hydroxylase, HepG2 cells were incubated with AR and the metabolism of γ-tocopherol measured. AR significantly inhibited the conversion γ-tocopherol to its water-soluble hydroxychroman metabolite in vitro, indicating that AR may increase γ-tocopherol levels via inhibition of tocopherol metabolism in vivo. The 4 g AR/kg diet decreased liver cholesterol (P < 0.001), but did not affect plasma lipids. AR were detected in the perirenal adipose tissue samples of rats fed AR, indicating that they can accumulate in the fatty tissues of rats. High levels of dietary AR moderately affect γ-tocopherol, possibly via inhibition of tocopherol metabolism, and decrease liver cholesterol in rats.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)506-510
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Nutrition
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Alkylresorcinols
  • Cholesterol
  • Cytochrome P450
  • Tocopherol-ω-hydroxylase
  • γ-tocopherol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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