[Note: There are two types of vitamin E. Research indicates the tocotrienols are 40 to 60 times more potent antioxidants than the tocopherols, though tocopherols interfere with the tocotrienols' absorption. See “Vitamin E: The Super Antioxidant We Only Thought We Knew," which explains that the annatto plant is the only known vitamin E source containing only tocotrienols - and how tocotrienols support reduced cholesterol production without the negative effects caused by statin drugs.]
Background: Studies on the cholesterol lowering activity of tocotrienols have yielded mixed results, with some showing cholesterol lowering effect while some showing no activity.
Aim: A randomized, double-blind, parallel group study was conducted to investigate the cholesterol lowering activity of tocotrienols.
Methods: 32 hypercholesterolemic subjects were randomly assigned to orally receive either 300 mg of mixed tocotrienols capsules daily or placebo capsules containing 300 mg of soya bean oil for a period of 6 months.
The subjects were monitored before supplementation and monthly thereafter for their serum cholesterol as well as tocotrienol and tocopherol concentrations.
• The serum total cholesterol and low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol of the subjects in the tocotrienol supplementation group were decreased significantly by -8.9% +/- 0.9% and ?-12.8% +/- 2.6%, respectively, after 4 months of supplementation,
• And the reduction persisted till the end of the 6-month study, with a reduction of -10.8% +/- 1.0% and -17.3% +/- 1.8%, respectively, from baseline.
Moreover, there was a 22-fold increase in the total tocotrienol concentrations from baseline during supplementation compared to the placebo group, while the concentration of alpha-tocopherol recorded only a modest increase.
On the other hand, the serum cholesterol, total tocotrienol and ?alpha-tocopherol concentrations of subjects in the placebo group remained essentially unchanged.
Conclusions: Supplementation with mixed tocotrienols at dose of 300 mg per day resulted in the lowering of the serum total and LDL cholesterol levels after 5 months of supplementation.
Keywords: tocotrienols, cholesterol-lowering, total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, tocopherols
Source: Functional Foods in Health and Disease,/i>, Mar 31, 2011. Yuen KH, Wong JW, Lim AB, Ng BH, Choy WP. School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, University of Science Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia.