Natural Products Insider

MAR-APR 2018

INSIDER is the leading information source for marketers, manufacturers and formulators of dietary supplements, healthy foods and cosmeceuticals. Since 1997, INSIDER has been serving the needs of the global nutrition industry.

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66 INSIDER March/April 2018 tocotrienols play an important role in promoting healthy cognitive function in elderly 8,9, [while] a paper published in Neurobiology of Aging found the risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer's disease were lower in elderly, with the highest levels of vitamin E total tocopherols and tocotrienols," 10 See said. "Researchers in Malaysia recently reported that oral supplementation of vitamin E tocotrienol helps to attenuate the progression of white matter lesion—which is a precursor for cognitive impairment and ischemic stroke." 11 Kunal Sikchi, director, Matrix Fine Sciences, also cited recent work pitting vitamin E against non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that can develop into cirrhosis. 12 Subjects were administered 400 IU of alpha-tocopherol and symbiotic probiotic supplements for eight weeks. The fi ndings suggested the supplementation combination may confer advantageous therapeutic outcomes for patients with NAFLD. Vitamin E has additionally been studied for its benefi cial role in immune support, but Rausch warned that research has indicated using vitamin E for immune support is not equally warranted for all populations. "A recent study found that taking vitamin E supplements led to an increased risk of pneumonia for more than one in four older men (28 percent) who smoked and did not exercise; however, the opposite effect was true for older men who exercised and did not smoke in that vitamin E actually decreased their risk of contracting pneumonia," 13 she said. "The study concludes that vitamin E can modify the risk of pneumonia in some older men depending on their lifestyle, which is crucially related to the health outcome of the supplementation." Tocotrienols—especially delta- and gamma-tocotrienols—have shown dramatic promise in the fi elds of cardiovascular and bone health, as well as wound management, commented Anne Trias, product director, American River Nutrition Inc., who pointed to some of the standout conditions recently targeted by tocotrienol research: Cardiovascular health—When taken apart from alpha-tocopherol, tocotrienols lower total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and triglyceride levels between 15 and 20 percent. 14 Further, an optimum daily dose of 250 mg tocotrienols (without tocopherols) lowered C-reactive protein (CRP) and other infl ammation markers between 35 to 60 percent. 15 Bone health—Trias said this is an exciting area of research that could put tocotrienols on par with vitamin D and calcium. While many pre-clinical trials have indicated promise, a recently published, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial followed postmenopausal women who were given tocopherol-free tocotrienols over the course of 12 weeks, administered at two dosages (300 and 600 mg/d) along with 400 IU of vitamin D and 500 mg of calcium supplement. 16 Both tocotrienol dosages led to decreased bone resorption and improved bone turnover rate compared to the placebo group. Wound healing—The antimicrobial effect of annatto tocotrienol has proven effective in the management of infected wounds as an immune adjuvant in the treatment of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) when combined with antibiotics. 17 Despite receiving unfortunate press in recent years, research continues to indicate that the vitamin E family of compounds holds exciting promise for impacting a spectrum of important health conditions. Joanna Cosgrove is a Pennsylvania-based health and wellness writer who has covered the dietary supplement and healthy food and beverage industries since 1996. Vitamin E For a list of references, email

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