- Antioxidant properties shall only be recognized if the products contain at least 1,8 milligrams of vitamin E per 100 grams per 100 milliliters or if the product contains only one portion.
- Vitamin E deficiency manifests itself in pain and burning sensations in the feet and hands, but it is very rare and occurs only after a few years of not drinking.
Sunflower oil, spinach, avocado, cabbage, nuts … And many other foods that contain vitamin E! The latter is known for its antioxidant properties, ie it contributes to the protection of our cells. However, according to a recent study published in the journal CancerDiscovery, this would have another benefit: it would improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy treatment in cancer patients. We remind you that immunotherapy is a treatment that strengthens and stimulates the patient’s immune system to fight its pathology.
Vitamin E stimulates the activity of immune cells
Therefore, in their work, the researchers found that vitamin E stimulates the activity of dendritic cells, ie immune cells that are involved in activating the body’s immune response. It is this phenomenon that would improve the effectiveness of immunotherapy.
To get the results, the researchers analyzed the health data of patients who received immunotherapy for melanoma, a skin tumor. They found that people who took vitamin E survived better than those who did not. Then they did other experiments and noticed the same results with breast, colon and kidney cancer … But only for immunotherapy, never for chemotherapy.
T cells and cancer cells
There are several cells in our immune system, including T cells, that help our body fight infections and destroy abnormal cells, including cancer cells. Typically, our immune system blocks them from attacking normal cells using proteins called checkpoints. In other words, these checkpoint proteins direct the action of T cells.
However, some cancer cells can send signals that confuse T cells and prevent them from working. Lastly, it makes it easier for the cancer to spread in the body. Thus, immune checkpoint inhibitors are used to treat certain forms of cancer. These are antibodies that block specific checkpoint proteins, allowing the immune cells to attack and kill the cancer cells.
The role of SHP1
“This study improves our understanding of the factors that may increase the efficacy of immunotherapy. We have shown that vitamin E can enhance the function of dendritic cells by inhibiting the checkpoint protein SHP1.”explained Dihua Yu, one of the authors of the study. In fact, researchers have just found that vitamin E precisely blocks the activity of a checkpoint protein called SHP1 in dendritic cells, which improves the effectiveness of patients’ immune T cells.
“SHP1 may be an interesting therapeutic target for enhancing dendritic cell function and improving the efficacy of immunotherapy. Our work provides important information about the interaction between vitamin E and SHP1 that will help us develop specific SHP1 inhibitors,” said Xiangliang Yuan. one of the authors. An interesting therapeutic strategy that researchers intend to work on in future research.