Journal:American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):10, 92, 6, 1378-1384
Study tested the hypothesis that thermal injury depletes body stores of vitamin E by measuring concentrations of a-tocopherol concentrations in adipose tissue samples obtained from children with burn injuries. Adipose tissue a-tocopherol concentrations are generally accepted to reflect long-term vitamin E deficiency. Eight pediatric patients were followed up to 1 year after burn injury. Surgically obtained samples were collected at various intervals and stored at -80 degrees centigrade in a biorepository. a- and ?-tocopherols, cholesterol, and triglycerides were measured in the same tissue sample. During the first week after injury, adipose tissue a-tocopherol concentrations were within the expected normal range of 199 nanomoles per gram (nmol/g) of adipose tissue but were substantially lower at weeks 2 and 3 (133 and 109 nmol/g of adipose tissue, respectively). Individual rates of decrease, estimated by linear regression, showed that adipose tissue a-tocopherol decreased by an average of 6.1 nmol/g daily. During the first month after injury, adipose tissue triglyceride concentrations also decreased, whereas no changes in cholesterol concentrations occurred. The results suggest that the burn injury experienced by these pediatric patients altered their metabolism such that vitamin E status diminished during the month after injury. Further studies are needed to evaluate the mechanism and consequences of the observed vitamin E depletion.