Tocotrienols are natural vitamin E compounds that have significant antioxidant potential. A 2015 study featured in the Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology set out to determine the impact of tocotrienol supplementation at varying dosages on markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.
In this study, 31 people over age 50 with high cholesterol were given increasing dosages of tocotrienol along with the American Heart Association Step-1 diet (restricted intake of fat <30%/day, and cholesterol <300 mg/day) for four weeks. Numerous inflammatory and oxidative stress markers were measured including serum nitric oxide (NO), C-reactive protein (CRP), malondialdehyde (MD), total antioxidant status (TAS) and others. Tocotrienol dosages were 125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, and 750 mg. At all dosage levels, NO, CRP and other inflammatory markers were reduced with the most effective dose being 250 mg per day. At this dosage level, NO was decreased by 40%, CRP by 40% and MDA by 34% while TAS was increased by 22%.
The tocotrienol product used in this study was DeltaGold from annatto seeds. Because tocotrienols are only found in small amounts in the diet, it is nearly impossible to get the amount of tocotrienols used in this study through diet alone. Edible oils such as palm and rice bran contain small amounts of tocotrienols. Tocotrienols exert their anti-inflammatory effect by down-regulating IL-6, IL-8 and IL-10, as well as by reducing the activation of NF-κB directly.
Numerous studies have established the fact that low-grade inflammation can contribute to accelerated aging and illness. This could explain the fact that while cardiovascular disease is thought to be directly related with elevated cholesterol, in fact, 50% of patients who die from heart attacks have normal cholesterol levels. Thus, inflammation has emerged as the central event in all stages of atherosclerosis.
This study shows a direct link between supplementing with tocotrienols and a corresponding reduction in oxidative and inflammatory markers, as well as an increase in total antioxidant status. In this manner, tocotrienols may reduce cardiovascular disease. While this study is fairly small, it adds to the growing evidence regarding the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of tocotrienol supplements.
Auereshi AA, Khan DA, Mahjabeen W, Trias AM, Silswal N, Quereshi N. Impact of δ-tocotrienol on inflammatory biomarkers and oxidative stress in hypercholesterolemic subjects. J Clin Exp Cardiology. 2015;6:4.


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