Metabolic Syndrome

Overeating and insufficient exercise are negative attributes of modern day lifestyles. This can lead to excessive weight gain and obesity which play important roles in the development of metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome increases the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A person who has metabolic syndrome is twice as likely to develop cardiovascular disease and five times as likely to develop diabetes as someone who does not have metabolic syndrome. [1]

An elevated triglyceride level due to a lack of lipid balance (dyslipidemia) is a core factor of metabolic syndrome. Dyslipidemia promotes fatty plaque formation in blood vessel walls (atherosclerosis) laying the groundwork for cardiovascular disease

 Metabolic syndrome also contributes to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a common medical condition that can lead to inflammation (hepatitis) and scarring (cirrhosis) of the liver. [2]

 Being a natural vitamin E constituent known for its distinct biochemical properties, the earliest clinical studies on tocotrienol have shown that tocotrienol can successfully reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels suggesting their potential in maintaining cardiovascular and metabolic health. [3, 4]

The effect of palm tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF) in metabolic syndrome was further investigated in animal models. In this study by scientists at the University of Southern Queensland, Australia, the metabolic syndrome state is induced in rats fed a high carbohydrate, high fat diet for 16 weeks until abdominal obesity, hypertension, impaired glucose and insulin tolerance and reduced liver function developed. Results from the study showed that TRF treatment “improved ventricular function, attenuated cardiac stiffness and hypertension, and improved glucose and insulin tolerance, with reduced left ventricular collagen deposition and inflammatory cell infiltration.” In this model of human metabolic syndrome, the study suggests tocotrienol’s potential in supporting overall metabolic health through protection of heart and liver functions and improvement of glucose and lipid profiles. [5]


Read Top Articles

1.            Galassi, A., K. Reynolds, and J. He, Metabolic syndrome and risk of cardiovascular disease: a meta-analysis. Am J Med, 2006. 119(10):812-9.

2.            Vanni, E., et al., From the metabolic syndrome to NAFLD or vice versa? Dig Liver Dis, 2010. 42(5):320-30.

3.            Qureshi, A.A., et al., Dose-dependent suppression of serum cholesterol by tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF25) of rice bran in hypercholesterolemic humans. Atherosclerosis, 2002. 161(1): 199-207.

4.            Qureshi AA, Q.N., Wright JJ, Shen Z, Kramer G, Gapor A, Chong YH, DeWitt G, Ong A, Peterson DM and et al. , Lowering of serum cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic humans by tocotrienols (palmvitee). . Am J Clin Nutr, 1991. 53: 1021S-1026S.

5.           Wong WY, P.H., Ward LC, Brown L. Tocotrienols reverse cardiovascular, metabolic and liver changes in high carbohydrate, high fat diet-fed rats. Nutrients, 2012. 4(10):1527-41.