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Overlooked Nutrient to Win Vitamin of Year in 2014


nutrition articles

June 2014

Last Year’s Most Overlooked Nutrient is poised to Win Vitamin of the Year in 2014

Written by Millie Lytle ND, MPH, CNS

The importance of fat-soluble vitamins for your overall health is undeniable. These work to support basic body functions, and when the body is deficient in these valuable nutrients, a host of immune, cardiovascular and neurological issues may result. One of these crucial fat-soluble vitamins is called Tocotrienol. Over the last few years, the importance of Vitamin D3, Vitamin K2, and Choline have surfaced. But 2014 is set to be Tocotrienol’s year in the spotlight, with the most renowned nutritionists set to talk about it.

What is Tocotrienol?

Tocotrienol is one of the latest fat-soluble vitamins to earn major attention in the neutraceutical industry for its wide range of powerful health benefits, as shown in both in vitro and in vivo clinical trials. Tocotrienols are particularly rich in palm, rice bran, and barley oils, and they possess excellent benefits for antioxidant defense, cellular protection, and lowering of cholesterol levels. Tocomin tocotrienols are derived from red palm oil, the exact ingredient used successfully in many human clinical trials, and may be used for a variety of health conditions.

Here are only a few of the impressive benefits tocotrienols offer for various organs, including your brain, liver, heart, arteries, skin and hair:

Brain Health

Over ten years ago, alpha-tocotrienol was shown in studies to be multi-fold more potent than alpha-tocopherol in preventing glutamate-induced cellular death of primary neuronal brain cells 1. At nanomolar concentration, tocotrienol – but not tocopherol – completely protected the neurons with an antioxidant-independent mechanism1. Mixed tocotrienols have been shown to redirect the blood during a stroke, creating collateral circulation which increases oxygenation to brain, thereby protecting brain cells from the stroke’s damage2. Tocotrienol has been shown to protect white matter and prevent progression of white matter lesions that may contribute to conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s3. Tocotrienol protects your white matter, creates alternate circulation pathways, and protects neurons and brain cells from injury and damage, while improving your memory, cognition and learning ability as well.

Lung Health

Specific members of the Vitamin E family such as tocotrienols (α-, β-, γ-, δ-) have demonstrated strong cancer prevention association with inhibition of tumor formation and proliferation, both in vitro and in vivo4. Delta-tocotrienol was shown to inhibit the spread of non-small cell lung cancer cells, lower invasion, and even cause death of cancerous cells. It was also shown that treatment with a combination of delta-tocotrienol and the chemotherapy drug cisplatin resulted in a dose-dependent, significant inhibition of cell growth, migration, invasiveness, and induction of apoptosis in NSCLC cells, as compared to the single agents alone. Therefore, researchers concluded that delta-Tocotrienol and cisplatin, in combination, are a potential treatment option for the most common form of lung cancer, which could effectively allow physicians to use a lower dose of cisplatin5.

Liver Health

Tocotrienols maintain proper cellular structure and function of the liver and hepatic cells. In clinical trials, Tocomax Tocomin has been shown to soften the liver up to 21% more than regular Vitamin E in those with liver damage6. Tocotrienols protect against high sugar consumption, triglyceride damage7, insulin resistance, a high-fat diet, and metabolic changes to liver cells.

Heart Health and Healthy Arteries

Tocotrienols offer excellent protection for your heart and arteries. They have been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels8, and in rats, they have been shown to increase good cholesterol and reduce levels of glucose and glycosylated hemoglobin (HbA1c). They have also been shown to heal vascular damage from the oxidative stress markers, dangerous in the presence of cholesterol9. Tocotrienols smooth out the arteries and maintain blood vessel wall integrity that can be damaged by oxidized fats.

Skin Health

Tocotrienols have shown immense promise in the area of systemic dermatology. Immune-related skin changes, causing allergic dermatitis in mice, were improved with the use of gamma-tocotrienols10. A pathway has even been established by which this isomer can treat melanogenic changes, making it promising for the treatment of the devastating skin cancer, melanoma11. On a daily basis, tocotrienols have been shown in clinical research to even the skin’s tone and smooth its texture from the inside out, even stimulating collagen synthesis12.

So, here is yet another fat-soluble vitamin proving its undervalued potential. While alpha-tocopherol, particularly the dl- or all-rac alpha tocopherol acetate (synthetic Vitamin E from petroleum used in many medical trials) continues to show mixed results, all-natural tocotrienols are leading the research in positive results. Let’s celebrate this vitamin for its promising role in cancer prevention and treatment! On a daily basis, consider Tocotrienols from organic red palm oil to rescue you from the chronic ill-effects an unhealthy diet high in sugar, hormones, and bad fats. Tocotrienols are powerful antioxidants, helping to heal tissues damaged by free radicals, thereby reducing the many aggressive effects of aging!

Carotech is a cGMP-certified producer of natural tocotrienol (Tocomin) from Non-GMO virgin red palm oil/palm fruits. Tocomin contains all four tocotrienol isomers, with high levels of alpha, gamma- and delta-tocotrienol. This product is verified Non-GMO, kosher and Halal.

  1. Sen CK, Khanna S, Roy S. Tocotrienol: the natural vitamin E to defend the nervous system? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Dec; 1031:127-42.
  2. Stroke.Gopalan Y, Shuaib IL, Magosso E, Ansari MA, Abu Bakar MR, Wong JW, Khan NA, Liong WC, Sundram K, Ng BH, Karuthan C, Yuen KH. Clinical investigation of the protective effects of palm vitamin e tocotrienols on brain white matter. Stroke. 2014 May; 45(5):1422-8.
  3. Gopalan Y, Shuaib IL, Magosso E, Ansari MA, Abu Bakar MR, Wong JW, Khan NA, Liong WC, Sundram K, Ng BH, Karuthan C, Yuen KH. Clinical investigation of the protective effects of palm vitamin e tocotrienols on brain white matter. Stroke. 2014 May; 45(5):1422-8.
  4. Zarogoulidis P, Cheva A, Zarampouka K, Huang H, Li C, Huang Y, Katsikogiannis N, Zarogoulidis K.Tocopherols and tocotrienols as anticancer treatment for lung cancer: future nutrition. J Thorac Dis. 2013 Jun; 5 (3):349-52.
  5. Ji X, Wang Z, Sarkar FH, Gupta SV. Delta-tocotrienol augments cisplatin-induced suppression of non-small cell lung cancer cells via inhibition of the Notch-1 pathway. Anticancer Res. 2012 Jul; 32(7):2647-55.
  6. “The Effect of Vitamin E (Mixed Tocotrienol) on the Liver Stiffness measurement Measured by Transient Elastography (FibroScan) among NAFLD Patients", presented at APASL Liver Week, Singapore, June 7, 2013.
  7. Muto C, Yachi R, Aoki Y, Koike T, Igarashi O, Kiyose C. Gamma-tocotrienol reduces the triacylglycerol level in rat primary hepatocytes through regulation of fatty acid metabolism. J Clin Biochem Nutr. 2013 Jan; 52 (1):32-7.
  8. Qureshi AA, Sami SA, Salser WA, Khan FA.Dose-dependent suppression of serum cholesterol by tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF25) of rice bran in hypercholesterolemic humans. Atherosclerosis. 2002 Mar; 161 (1):199-207.
  9. Budin SB, Othman F, Louis SR, Bakar MA, Das S, Mohamed J. The effects of palm oil tocotrienol-rich fraction supplementation on biochemical parameters, oxidative stress and the vascular wall of streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Clinics (Sao Paulo). 2009; 64 (3):235-44.
  10. Tsuduki T, Kuriyama K, Nakagawa K, Miyazawa T.Tocotrienol (unsaturated vitamin E) suppresses degranulation of mast cells and reduces allergic dermatitis in mice. J Oleo Sci. 2013; 62 (10):825-34.
  11. Ng LT, Lin LT, Chen CL, Chen HW, Wu SJ, Lin CC. Anti-melanogenic effects of δ-tocotrienol are associated with tyrosinase-related proteins and MAPK signaling pathway in B16 melanoma cells. Phytomedicine. 2014 Jun 15; 21 (7):978-83.
  12. Makpol S, Jam FA, Khor SC, Ismail Z, Mohd Yusof YA, Ngah WZ. Comparative effects of biodynes, tocotrienol-rich fraction, and tocopherol in enhancing collagen synthesis and inhibiting collagen degradation in stress-induced premature senescence model of human diploid fibroblasts. Oxid Med Cell Longev. 2013; 2013:298574.


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