A Review on the Relationship between Tocotrienol and Alzheimer Disease

Chin KY, Tay SS


Alzheimer’s disease (AD) is plaguing the aging population worldwide due to its tremendous health care and socioeconomic burden. Current treatment of AD only offers symptomatic relief to patients. Development of agents targeting specific pathologies of AD is very slow. Tocotrienol, a member of the vitamin E family, can tackle many aspects of AD, such as oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and abnormal cholesterol synthesis. This review summarizes the current evidence on the role of tocotrienol as a neuroprotective agent. Preclinical studies showed that tocotrienol could reduce oxidative stress by acting as a free-radical scavenger and promoter of mitochondrial function and cellular repair. It also prevented glutamate-induced neurotoxicity in the cells. Human epidemiological studies showed a significant inverse relationship between tocotrienol levels and the occurrence of AD. However, there is no clinical trial to support the claim that tocotrienol can delay or prevent the onset of AD. As a conclusion, tocotrienol has the potential to be developed as an AD-preventing agent but further studies are required to validate its efficacy in humans.

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