What are Tocotrienols

Tocotrienols do not come from herbs as do many natural remedies. They are natural compounds found in rice bran oil, coconut oil, cocoa butter, wheat germ, barley, certain nuts and grains, vegetable oils and saw palmetto. Tocotrienols are vitamins and represent a natural group of specific molecules as do many vitamins. They are part of the Vitamin E family, the earliest recognized antioxidants. Vitamine E includes four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Tocotreinols typically occur at much low levels than tocopherols.

Tocotrienol Historical info

Tocotrienols were discovered in 1964 when the compounds were first isolated. As part of the Vitamine E family, Tocotrienols have a slightly different molecular structure than tocopherols resulting in a different tissue distribution throughout the body and better penetration into saturated fatty layers of the liver and brain.

It wasn’t until the 1980s when the potential cholesterol lowering activity of Tocotreinols were discovered by Drs. Qureshi and Elson at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. Continuing research efforts and clinical trials have been undertaken to explore the numerous medicinal benefits potentially available from Tocotreinols in the areas of anti-cancer activity, diabetes, protecting the brain against stroke-induced injury, brain related illness and cholesterol reduction.

Recent findings indicate that tocotrienols have superior anti-oxidant activity than tocopherols. Because of the molecular differences the potential benefits for tocotrienols, outlined above, are not benefits of their sister compounds the tocopherols.

Tocotrienol‘s present day use and knowledge

Research is ongoing in many areas of potential benefit from Tocotrienols. Exciting findings are presently being investigated as to their anti-cancer effects on breast, prostate and melanoma cancers. Tocotrienols have been shown to potentially protect against brain cell damage, contribute to the prevention of type 2 diabetes and reduce cholesterol. They have been shown to initiate cancer apoptosis (cell death) as well as suppress proliferation of these specific cancers. With regard to Tocotrienols contributing to the prevention of type 2 diabetes, recent studies are showing that vitamin E intake in the form of tocopherols plus tocotrienol significantly reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

Regarding cholesterol, clinical trials have shown Tocotrienols to lower cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol production in the liver. The results of a different study suggested that tocotrienols (from palm and rice) could also reverse arterial blockage.

Tocotreinols are included among the supplements recognized to help support healthy cholesterol levels. If your interested in Tocotreinols for lowering or maintaining a healthy cholesterol level see Natural Remedies explorer’s pick for best supplement to lower cholesterol naturally.


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