The Amazing Tocotrienol

Just how much do you know about the beneficial compound called tocotrienol? To find out, take this short quiz by answering either TRUE or FALSE.

Q: Tocotrienols are a form of Vitamin E.

Q: Tocotrienols have unique benefits not seen in tocopherols.

Q: Tocotrienols are widely available from natural sources.

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Exciting growth in palm phytonutrient segment

StarBiz  By Hanim Adnan

Local palm oil producers should focus on developing palm phytonutrient-based products, which have lately attracted good demand from the global neutraceuticals markets. The proven scientific health benefits of palm phytonutrients such as tocotrienols and carotenoids also bodes well with the growing health awareness and food safety concerns, which have led more consumers and manufacturers worldwide to source for natural, preservative-free and non-GMO ingredients in their products.


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Gamma-tocotrienol form of vitamin E suppresses breast cancer cell metastasis

Vitamin E is the collective name for a group of eight related vitamins, including four tocopherols (α, β, γ, and δ-tocopherol) and four tocotrienols (α, β, γ, and δ-tocotrienol). The eight variants have different distributions in foods and somewhat different biological activities. Alpha-tocopherol (α-tocopherol) is the most abundant form of vitamin E and is the isoform typically found in vitamin E supplements. Even brands containing mixed tocopherols do not contain any tocotrienols. However, evidence is accumulating that gamma-tocotrienol (γ-tocotrienol) is most effective in suppressing the proliferation of both hormone receptor positive (ER+/PR+) and triple negative (ER-/PR-/HER2-) breast cancer cells, as well as inducing their apoptosis (programmed cell death). Now a new study has reported that gamma-tocotrienol inhibits crucial steps in metastasis in a dose-response manner in both ER+/PR+ and triple negative cell

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Research: Healthy Effects of Black Pepper Fruits Extract, Tocotrienols, Terminalia Bellerica

Recent research supports the effects of natural ingredients, including black pepper fruits extract to increase mitochondrial function and Terminalia bellerica to reduce serum uric acid levels, while researchers further explore the heart and brain health effects of tocotrienols.

A recent human clinical study by the University of Georgia Department of Kinesiology found resveratrol fortified with black pepper fruits extract (as BioPerine® by Sabinsa) increased mitochondrial function. The study was conducted on participants who ingested a combo of resveratrol and BioPerine for four weeks with moderate exercise. Near infrared spectroscopy was used to study the mitochondrial capacity of wrist flexor muscle of one arm while the other arm served as the control. Results showed skeletal muscle mitochondrial performance increased with consumption of resveratrol (500 mg) and BioPerine (10 mg). The double-blind study was published in Applied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism.

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A pill for Parkinson’s?

The National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) is testing the substance, which is currently already available in a pill form. NNI signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysian pharmaceutical company Hovid Berhad to test whether palm tocotrienol – extracted from crude palm oil – works in experimental models of Parkinson’s disease. Clinical studies will be carried out subsequently.
“Our short- to mid-term plan is to come up with a drug to delay the onset of Parkinson’s for those at risk of the disease,” said Professor Tan Eng King, NNI’s Director of Research.

Study: Red Palm Oil Supplementation in Chronic Liver Disease Patients

A randomized, controlled study revealed that red palm oil (RPO, enriched with high levels of tocotrienols, tocopherols and carotenoids) supplementation decreased lipid peroxidation and endotoxemia (the presence of heat stable toxin derived from certain gram negative bacteria in the blood), production of inflammatory cytokines, and monocyte tissue factor (TF) in chronic liver disease patients.

The study, “Beneficial effect of refined red palm oil on lipid peroxidation and monocyte tissue factor in HCV-related liver disease: a randomized controlled study,” was published in Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Diseases International. Sixty patients with mean age of 62 years old with Child A/B genotype 1 HCV-related cirrhosis with no history of alcoholic beverages consumption were recruited. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either 300 mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol acetate) or 15 g RPO supplementation for 8 weeks. Blood parameters such as circulating endotoxin, plasma endotoxin-inhibiting capacity, macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), urinary isoprostane-F2α-III, and monocyte TF activity, erythrocyte malondialdehyde (MDA) were examined after the 2nd, 4th and 8th weeks. Liver ultrasound imaging was carried out to examine liver steatosis.

Vitamin E Tocotrienols

By Dr Liji Thomas, MD

Natural vitamin E contains 8 isoforms, of which four are alpha, beta, gamma and delta-tocotrienols. They differ because of the presence or absence of a methyl (-CH3) group at the 2, 4’ and 8’ positions on the chromanol ring. Natural tocotrienols have this group in the R configuration at the 2 position, which is responsible for its biological activity.

Sources of tocotrienols

Tocotrienols are far less common in plants than tocopherols. However, vitamin E in monocot seeds and a few dicot seeds is mostly in the form of tocotrienols. The richest source of alpha-tocotrienol is the oil of the oil palm tree Elaeis guineensis, containing up to 800 mg/kg of this vitamin in the alpha and gamma isoforms. 70% of vitamin E in palm oil is in the form of tocotrienols, quite unlike other plant oils which contain exclusively tocopherols.

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Tocotrienol, the New Effective Cancer Killer

Do you know that a new type of vitamin E called TOCOTRIENOL can actually help kill cancer cells? Tocotrienol is a new generation of Vitamin E and the richest source of this new cancer killer is the annatto seed. You read it right: the Annatto seed.

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Palm Oil Effects on Health

Never demonize food but instead use good common sense. Everything is good and everything can be harmful. It depends on the quantity, age, physical activity, the place where you live, and lifestyle, I have written on this several times. Yet, the full scale campaign against palm oil continues. A lot of things have been said, creating great confusion. Here is the information, gathered through readings and meetings of researchers and doctors in Malaysia.

What is the composition.
Palm oil, derived from the oil palm fruit, has basically 40-45% saturated fat (palmitic acid), 39-40% fatty acids (oleic acid) and 10-11 % fatty acids (linoleic acid). The palmitic acid is the main saturated fat in meat, olive oil, breast milk (accounting for 25% of the fat), and dairy products such as cream, cheese, butter.

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Ingredient watch: Eight feel-good reasons why palm oil is in foods

If you’re a label reader, you may be seeing more palm oil in your favourite food products. In the United States, most of the palm oil comes from Malaysia. There are many reasons why food manufacturers are choosing this versatile and tropical-sounding ingredient. Read on to learn why palm oil is in foods such as pizza, bread, peanut butter, candy and granola bars.

  1. Palm oil is naturally trans fat-free. Trans fats (aka partially hydrogenated oils) are associated with increased risk of heart disease, obesity and diabetes. Many food manufacturers have swapped trans fats with Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil.
  2. Palm oil is non-GMO. A rapidly increasing number of shoppers are looking for products made without genetically modified ingredients. Unlike most soybean, canola and corn oils, Malaysian palm oil is non-GMO.

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