Skeletal Muscle

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Skeletal muscle comprises about 40% of mammalian body weight and as such, is an important contributor to whole body physiology. Although, ATC concentration in skeletal muscle is lower than that ofliver, it has a comparable (if not higher) contribution to the whole body ATC pool [81],

Various studies have shown that dietary ATC deficiency induces myopathic lesions within muscle [209,210], Many of these studies on muscle have combined ATC deficiency with concomitant selenium deficiency [208,211], In combined ATC-selenium deficiency, ATC supplementation alone can ameliorate myopathic lesions [212],

ATC deficiency alone causes lysis and disarray of the myofibrillary apparatus and sarcoplasmic reticulum [209,210], Swelling of the mitochondria, and other matrix disruptions in skeletal muscle also occur [209], These lesions are observable at both the light and electron microscopic level.

Alcoholic myopathy is arguably the most prevalent skeletal muscle disease in the Western Hemisphere, occurring in between 30-60% of all chronic alcohol misusers (see reviews in [213-215]), In a UK study, serum levels of ATC were shown lower in alcoholics with skeletal muscle myopathy compared to those alcoholics or non-alcoholic subjects without myopathy [166], However, this has not been reproduced in Spanish alcoholics, which may reflect geographical or other differences between the patient population and/or nutritional intake [216],

Deficiencies of either alpha-tocopherol or selenium also occur naturally leading to, for example, white muscle disease which is seen in farm animals or horses where a combination of inadequate soil selenium is combined with poor dietary ATC [217-226], Concomitant changes in this disorder include reduced plasma glutathione peroxidase activities and increased serum creatine kinase activities [221,227],

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