Effects of tocotrienol-rich fraction on exercise endurance capacity and oxidative stress in forced swimming rats

Eur J Appl Physiol. 2009 Nov;107(5):587-95. doi: 10.1007/s00421-009-1159-6. Epub 2009 Aug 25.


The present study aimed to examine the effects of tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) on exercise endurance and oxidative stress in forced swimming rats. Rats fed on isocaloric diet were orally given 25 (TRF-25) and 50 (TRF-50) mg/kg of TRF, or 25 mg/kg D-alpha-tocopherol (T-25) whilst the control group received only the vehicle for 28 days, followed by being forced to undergo swimming endurance tests, with measurements taken of various biochemical parameters, including blood glucose, lactate and urea nitrogen, glycogen, total antioxidant capacity, antioxidant enzymes, thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (TBARS), and protein carbonyl. Results showed that the TRF-treated animals (268.0 +/- 24.1 min for TRF-25 and 332.5 +/- 24.3 min for TRF-50) swam significantly longer than the control (135.5 +/- 32.9 min) and T-25-treated (154.1 +/- 36.4 min) animals, whereas there was no difference in the performance between the T-25 and control groups. The TRF-treated rats also showed significantly higher concentrations of liver glycogen, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), and glutathione peroxidase (GPx), as well as of muscle glycogen and SOD than the control and the T-25-treated animals, but lower levels in blood lactate, plasma and liver TBARS, and liver and muscle protein carbonyl. Taken together, these results suggest that TRF is able to improve the physiological condition and reduce the exercise-induced oxidative stress in forced swimming rats.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antioxidants / pharmacology
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Urea Nitrogen
  • Body Weight / drug effects
  • Drug Evaluation, Preclinical
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / drug effects*
  • Palm Oil
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / methods
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Plant Extracts / chemistry
  • Plant Extracts / pharmacology
  • Plant Oils / chemistry
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Swimming* / physiology
  • Tocopherols / pharmacology
  • Tocotrienols / pharmacology*


  • Antioxidants
  • Blood Glucose
  • Plant Extracts
  • Plant Oils
  • Tocotrienols
  • Lactic Acid
  • Palm Oil
  • Tocopherols