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Vitamin E Supplementation And Mitochondria In Experimental And Functional Hyperthyroidism: A Mini-Review

Gaetana Napolitano, Gianluca Fasciolo, Sergio Di Meo, Paola Venditti

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Mitochondria are both the main sites of production and the main target of reactive oxygen species (ROS). This can lead to mitochondrial dysfunction with harmful consequences for the cells and the whole organism, resulting in metabolic and neurodegenerative disorders such as type 2 diabetes, obesity, dementia, and aging. To protect themselves from ROS, mitochondria are equipped with an efficient antioxidant system, which includes low-molecular-mass molecules and enzymes able to scavenge ROS or repair the oxidative damage. In the mitochondrial membranes, a major role is played by the lipid-soluble antioxidant vitamin E, which reacts with the peroxyl radicals faster than the molecules of polyunsaturated fatty acids, and in doing so, protects membranes from excessive oxidative damage. In the present review, we summarize the available data concerning the capacity of vitamin E supplementation to protect mitochondria from oxidative damage in hyperthyroidism, a condition that leads to increased mitochondrial ROS production and oxidative damage. Vitamin E supplementation to hyperthyroid animals limits the thyroid hormone-induced increases in mitochondrial ROS and oxidative damage. Moreover, it prevents the reduction of the high functionality components of the mitochondrial population induced by hyperthyroidism, thus preserving cell function.