The purpose of this research study is to learn whether high dose vitamin E (gamma
tocopherol) will affect the way your body responds to an acute inflammation in your lungs.
Vitamin E is found in soybean and vegetable oils as well as many plant seeds. Gamma
tocopherol (gT), a component of vitamin E, composes 70-80% of Vitamin E in the U.S. diet.
Alpha tocopherol (aT), another large component of vitamin E, makes up less than 10% of
vitamin E in the U.S. diet, but is the major form in blood and tissue. It is also the major
form of Vitamin E in over-the-counter supplements. However, gT has anti-inflammatory
properties which are not present in aT. Preliminary data suggests that gT protects from
ozone-induced exacerbation in animal studies, and previous studies have shown levels of gT
are inversely associated with heart disease.
We will ask you to undergo a challenge with endotoxin, which is a bacterial component of air
pollution. From other studies we have done, we know that if you inhale 20,000 EUs
(endotoxin units) we will see an increase in the number of neutrophils (a type of white
blood cell that your body produces to fight infection) in your lung cells without causing
you to have flu-like symptoms. We will investigate if there is a change in your lung
inflammatory cells after the endotoxin challenge when you take the gT versus when you take a
- Healthy nonsmoking volunteers with normal lung function
- Chronic illness
- Active allergies