'Vitamin E tocotrienols are potential candidates for maintenance of heart health,' says study


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The current study used the DeltaGold annatto tocotrienol ingredient derived from Bixa orellana. Image: © iStockPhoto / Achim Prill
The current study used the DeltaGold annatto tocotrienol ingredient derived from Bixa orellana. Image: © iStockPhoto / Achim Prill

Related tags Oxidative stress Antioxidant Tocopherol C-reactive protein

Supplements containing vitamin E tocotrienols from annatto may reduce inflammation and oxidative stress biomarkers associated with cardiovascular and aging disease, according to results of a clinical trial.

Data from 31 people indicated that that annatto tocotrienol – composed mainly of delta-tocotrienol – was associated with improvements in a number of cardiovascular risk factors including inflammatory cytokines, nitric oxide (NO) and C-reactive protein (CRP).

Writing in the Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology​researchers from the University of Missouri – Kansas City reported that four weeks of eating a healthy diet and vitamin E tocotrienol supplementation at doses ranging from 125 to 750 mg/day decreased inflammatory and oxidative stress markers significantly.

“These results suggest that delta-tocotrienol is a potential candidate for therapeutic applications in the maintenance of health and protection from aging diseases,”​ concluded the researchers, led by Prof. Asaf Qureshi.

Supplement details

Vitamin E is a family of eight separate but related molecules: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). While alpha-tocopherol is found in most multivitamins and is supplemented in foods, a growing base of evidence suggests that this popular vitamin E interferes with the uptake and function of tocotrienols. Tocotrienols are derived from three major sources, including rice, palm and annatto. Annatto is the only tocopherol-free source of tocotrienols.

The current study used the DeltaGold annatto tocotrienol ingredient supplied by American River Nutrition, and typically contains about 90% delta- and 10% gamma-tocotrienol.

Study details

Prof Qureshi and his co-workers recruited 31 people with elevated cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemic) and assigned them to receive one of four doses of delta-tocotrienol in combination with the American Heart Association’s Step-1 diet. Each dose was given for four weeks, and was followed by a two week ‘washout’ period before starting the next higher dose. The whole study lasted for 30 weeks and the four doses were 125, 250, 500, and 750 mg per day.

The results showed that all four interventions were associated with reductions in nitric oxide (NO), C-reactive protein (CRP), malondialdehyde (MDA), delta-glutamyl-transferase (delta-GT), with the best results observed for the 250 mg per day dose. For the 250 mg/d dose, NO, CRP, MDA, and delta-GT levels decreased by 40%, 40%, 34%, and 22%, respectively.

In addition, some inflammatory cytokines were reduced by between 15 and 17%.

“In a dose-dependent study of 125-750 mg/d, delta-tocotrienol maximally reduced inflammation and oxidative stress parameters with a 250 mg/d dose in hypercholesterolemic subjects, and may be a potential therapeutic alternative natural product for the maintenance of health during aging process,” ​wrote the researchers.

 ‘A remarkable feat’

Commenting on the research, Dr Barrie Tan, president of American River Nutrition Inc. said, “This work represents a comprehensive effort of Dr. Qureshi, arguably the ‘father of tocotrienol functions’ who spearheaded research differentiating tocotrienols from tocopherols, particularly tocotrienol’s enhanced mitigating effect on pathology compared to tocopherol.”

“Cardiovascular disease is now well-known to be half-owned by inflammation that participates in many – if not all – stages of atherosclerosis,”​ added Dr Tan. “In their last two published studies, Dr. Qureshi and his team showed that delta-tocotrienol works by reducing both halves of cardiovascular agents, namely lipids and inflammation, a remarkable feat for a vitamin E tocotrienol.”

Source: Journal of Clinical & Experimental Cardiology
Published online ahead of print, doi: 10.4172/2155-9880.1000367
“Impact of Delta-Tocotrienol on Inflammatory Biomarkers and Oxidative Stress in Hypercholesterolemic Subjects”
Authors: A.A. Qureshi, D.A. Khan, W. Mahjabeen, A.M. Trias, N. Silswal, N. Qureshi

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