Scientists figure out how vitamin E keeps muscles healthy
Vitamin E has long known as a powerful antioxidant, and now scientists have shown that without it, the plasma membrane, which essentially keeps a cell from spilling its contents and controls what moves in and out, cannot properly heal.
The scientist suspects knowing the cell membrane repair action of vitamin E has implications for muscular dystrophy, and common diabetes-related muscle weakness, as well as traumatic brain injury, resulting from collisions on a football field, battlefield, or roadway. With a traumatic brain injury, for example, one of the first events that happens is that the plasma membrane of the neurons, key cells in the central nervous system, tear.
“Part of how we build muscle is a more natural tearing and repair process — that is the no pain, no gain portion — but if that repair doesn’t occur, what you get is muscle cell death. If that occurs over a long period of time, what you get is muscle-wasting disease,”
“This means, for the first time, 83 years after its initial discovery, we know what the cellular function of vitamin E is, and knowing that cellular function, we can now ask whether we can apply that knowledge to medically relevant areas,” McNeil said.
The antioxidant requirement for plasma membrane repair in skeletal muscle. Free Radical Biology and Medicine, 2015; 84: 246 DOI: 10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2015.03.016