Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family. An essential nutrient for the body, vitamin E is made up of four tocopherols(alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta)
This supplement is used to prevent or treat a lack of vitamin E in the body. A low body level of vitamin E is rare. Most people who eat a normal diet do not need extra vitamin E. However, vitamin E supplements are used in premature newborns and in people who have problems absorbing enough vitamin E from their diets. Vitamin E is important in protecting your body’s cells from damage. It is known as an antioxidant.
In the findings of a 1993 controlled, double-blind placebo study, research scientists have uncovered some interesting information regarding the benefits tocotrienols have on cholesterol levels. For instance, scientists have learned that palm based tocotrienols have the potential to alleviate arteries clogged by cholesterol. Certain types of tocotrienols have been found to be more effective than others, while Y-tocotrienols are more apt to decrease the development of cholesterol within liver cells.
Cardiovascular Diseases and Stroke
Studies have also shown that tocotrienols can have the potential to reduce the risks of cardiovascular diseases, such as carotid atherosclerosis, and stroke. In one human medical research study, patients with carotid atherosclerosis who were given 240 mg of palm based tocotrienols a day for 18-36 months had seen a significant decrease in the amount of cholesterol plaque in their carotid artery.
Palm based tocotrienols can also provide protection against ischemia and reperfusion heart injuries by relieving oxidative stress on the heart. Delta-tocotrienols can slow down the aggression of platelets, while palm based tocotrienols can possibly be an antithrombotic agent. Stroke victims can also benefit from the effects of tocotrienols as a drug treatment.
According to a study funded by the NIH and conducted by the Ohio State University Medical Center (along with Prof. Chandan Sen who published 5-peer viewed papers on the subject), alpha-tocotrienols can protect the brain from stroke-related injuries. Another study conducted by the AJP Heart and Circulatory Physiology have found that gamma-tocotrienols can prevent major damages to the heart after a stroke, as well.
Tocotrienols are a potential form of drug treatment for Type 2 diabetes. Researchers in both India and Malaysia, during a 2009 study, have discovered the benefits tocotrienols have in improving blood glucose, dyslipidemia, and oxidative stress on diabetic lab rats.
Anti-Aging Cosmetics and Personal Care
The more popular use of tocotrienols occurs in the field of anti-aging and cosmetics applications for their antioxidant properties. Tocotrienols can be a potent protective agent against free radicals caused by ultraviolet (UV) and ozone rays.
They can also prevent skin aging and damage caused by oxidative rays. Often an active ingredient in sunscreens, tocotrienols penetrate through the skin at a faster rate than tocopherols and can decrease the UV rays’ penetration into the skin.
Other Potential Health Benefits
Not only do tocotrienols have the potential to aid in the treatment of certain kinds of cancers, cholesterol, and diabetes, but they are also effective in lowering blood pressure. In studies, researchers have found that gamma-tocotrienols can prevent the development of increased blood pressure in Spontaneous Hypertensive Rats (SHR) after three months of application.
Alpha tocotrienols are considered a powerful natural super-antioxident as well, which can provide numerous health benefits in the prevention of free radicals.
High doses of vitamin E (400 units or more per day) may increase the chance of rare but very serious side effects. There is no proof that high doses of vitamin E help to prevent or treat heart disease. There is very little evidence that it helps prevent or treat Alzheimer’s disease. In some people, taking these high doses may even be harmful. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist and discuss the risks and benefits before taking vitamin E supplements.
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Source: WebMD, http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-150295/vitamin-e-mixed-tocotrienol-oral/details