Tocotrienols are nutrients that belong to the vitamin E family. They play an important role in many of the beneficial functions of the vitamin, ranging from protecting cell membranes to combating free radicals. Tocotrienols are extracted from oils that are found in plants, such as palm oil, palm kernel oil, rice bran oil and coconut oil. They can also be found in cereal grains such as rye and barley, as well as vegetable oils such as peanut, olive, cottonseed, canola, sunflower and soybean.
Here are the health benefits of tocotrienols:
Reverses Carotid Atherosclerosis
It has been proven that tocotrienols are effective in reversing carotid atherosclerosis, or arterial blockage, which can help prevent cardiovascular conditions. In a recent study, a number of people who were suffering from carotid atherosclerosis were given 240 mg of palm tocotrienol complex everyday for 18 to 36 months. The results showed that cholesterol plaque in the patients' carotid arteries was significantly reduced. Such effect was not seen in subjects who were given a placebo.
Suppresses Cancer and Tumor
According to medical researchers, palm tocotrienols can suppress the proliferation of breast cancer cells in human beings. Delta tocotrienols are more effective than other forms of tocotrienols in causing apoptosis, or cell death, in breast cancer cells that are estrogen-nonresponsive and estrogen-responsive. Gamma tocotrienols are about 3 times more potent than Tamoxifen in preventing the development of breast cancer. Gamma tocotrienol can also inhibit the growth of prostrate cancer cells. In general, tocotrienols function to enhance anti-cancer properties, and it can control tumor growth in certain types of cancer.
Works as a Super Antioxidant
Tocotrienols are also potent antioxidants that can combat free radicals in the human body and boost the immune system. It is known that alpha tocotrienols are 40 to 60 times more powerful than alpha-tocopherols as antioxidants in preventing lipid peroxidation. Many athletes and bodybuilders use tocotrienols to prevent lipid peroxidation and protein oxidation after strenuous exercise sessions.
Slows Aging and Protects Skin
When applied topically onto the skin, tocotrienols gather at the skin's stratum corneum, and they form the first line of defense against the free radicals that are generated by ultraviolet or ozone rays. As such, they can prevent skin damage and aging that are caused by unhealthy rays from the sun. By eliminating free radical activities, tocotrienols also help to maintain a healthy level of tocopherols, which are essential in the prevention of skin damage. It has been found that skin that is treated with tocotrienols show very high concentrations of vitamin E, which is beneficial to skin health.
Other Health Benefits
Besides the abovementioned benefits, tocotrienols can also promote health in other ways. They can reduce platelet aggregation, which is a process that can lead to blood clotting. Blood clotting is a serious condition that can result in a number of health problems, which include heart illnesses, neurological disorders, bowel problems, weakness or paralysis of limbs and others. Also, palm-based gamma tocotrienols have the ability to inhibit the development of hypertension.