Pharmacokinetics and safety of vitamin E δ-tocotrienol after single and multiple doses in healthy subjects with measurement of vitamin E metabolites

Amit Mahipal, Jason Klapman, Shivakumar Vignesh, Chung S. Yang, Anthony Neuger, Dung Tsa Chen, Mokenge P. Malafa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Purpose: Vitamin E delta-tocotrienol (VEDT) has demonstrated chemopreventive and antineoplastic activity in preclinical models. The aim of our study was to determine the safety and pharmacokinetics of VEDT and its metabolites after single- and multiple-dose administrations in healthy subjects. Methods: Thirty-six subjects received from 100 to 1600 mg of oral VEDT as a single dose or twice daily for 14 consecutive days. A 3 + 3 dose escalation design was utilized. Pharmacokinetic data were derived from high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) assays. Serial blood and urine samples were collected before and during VEDT administration, with serum and urine metabolites assessed using HPLC. Results: No drug-related adverse events were observed. Pharmacokinetic parameters for single and multiple doses were, respectively, as follows (shown as range): time to maximum concentration of 4–9.3 and 4.7–7.3 h, maximum concentration of 795.6–3742.6 and 493.3–3746 ng/mL, half-life of 1.7–5.9 and 2.3–6.9 h, and 0–12 h area under the curve of 4518.7–20,781.4 and 1987.7–22,171.2 ng h/mL. Plasma tocotrienols were significantly increased after VEDT administration, indicating oral bioavailability of VEDT in humans. Plasma and urine levels of metabolites, δ-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman, and δ-carboxymethylbutyl hydroxychroman were elevated after VEDT administration in a dose-dependent manner and were 30–60 times significantly higher than δ-tocotrienol levels. VEDT can be safely administered at doses up to 1600 mg twice daily. Plasma VEDT concentrations were comparable to those obtained in VEDT-treated mice in which tumor growth was delayed. Conclusions: Our results suggest that VEDT can be safely consumed by healthy subjects and achieve bioactive levels, supporting the investigation of VEDT for chemoprevention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)157-165
Number of pages9
JournalCancer chemotherapy and pharmacology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2016


  • Antitumor agent
  • Biomarker
  • Chemoprevention
  • Pancreatic cancer
  • Tocochromanol

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Oncology
  • Toxicology
  • Pharmacology
  • Cancer Research
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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