Tocotrienols are added as antioxidants to food. As there have been no reports of toxicological evaluation, a 13-week oral toxicity study was performed in Fischer 344 rats of both sexes at dose levels of 0 (group 1), 0.19 (group 2), 0.75 (group 3) and 3% (group 4) of a preparation in powdered diet. Suppression of body weight gain was observed in group 4 males. On hematological examination, significant decrease in mean corpuscular volume (MCV) was observed in all treated males. Platelets were significantly reduced in group 3 and 4 males. Hemoglobin concentration, MCV, mean corpuscular hemoglobin and mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration were significantly decreased in group 3 and 4 females and hematocrit in group 4 females. On serum biochemical examination, increase in the albumin/globulin ratio (A/G) and alkaline phosphatase in all treated males, elevated alanine transaminase in group 4 of both sexes and increases in asparagine transaminase and γ-glutamyl transaminase in group 4 females were observed. With regard to relative organ weights, liver weights in group 4 of both sexes and adrenal weights in all treated males demonstrated an increase, and ovary and uterus weights in group 4 females were reduced. Histopathologically, slight hepatocellular hypertrophy in group 3 and 4 males, and reduction of cytoplasmic vacuolation in the adrenal cortical region in group 4 males were observed. Because of pathological changes in male liver and hematological changes in females, the no-observed-adverse-effect level (NOAEL) was concluded to be 0.19% in the diet (120 mg/kg body weight/day for male rats and 130 mg/kg body weight/day for female rats). As a decrease in MCV, an increase in the A/G, elevation of alkaline phosphatase and increase in adrenal weight were observed in all treated males, a no-observed-effect level (NOEL) could not be determined in this examination. © 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.
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