Vitamin E tocotrienols show endurance benefits: Rat study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

The study used vitamin E tocotrienols derived from palm. © iStock
The study used vitamin E tocotrienols derived from palm. © iStock

Related tags Whey protein Antioxidant

Supplements of vitamin E tocotrienols may prolong running times in obese rats to the same extent as whey protein alone, says a new study.

Ten weeks of supplementation with either whey protein isolate (WPI) or full spectrum palm tocotrienols were associated with 50% increases in running times, according to results published in PLOS One​.

However, combining the two didn’t produce any additional effects, wrote researchers from Victoria University (Melbourne, Australia).

“To our knowledge this is the first study demonstrating that animals on a [high fat diet] supplemented with [tocotrienols] and/or WPIs show a remarkable increase in exercise capacity compared with [high fat diet] only animals,”​ wrote the researchers.

“This novel finding provides new awareness of the potential of these naturally occurring nutrients to increase exercise tolerance in populations at-risk of developing obesity and potentially subsequent insulin-resistance, which in turn could aid in the amelioration or prevention of these diseases.”

The findings add to a 2009 study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology​, which found that tocotrienol supplementation reduced oxidative stress in rats in a swimming test (as a model of strenuous exercise).

“We were surprised by the benefit of tocotrienols + WPI, and when our data combines with that of Lee et al, the benefits on exercise endurance are quite compelling. The mechanisms of this will be very interesting to elucidate,”​ said Dr Andrew Betik, lead author on the PLOS One paper.

Study details

Vitamin E

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.

The researchers randomly divided 35 sedentary, diet-induced obese rats into four groups: (i) high-fat diet, high-fat diet supplemented with (ii) mixed tocotrienols at dosage of 50mg/kg (EVNol, supplied by ExcelVite), (iii) WPI (8% of total energy intake) and (iv) mixed tocotrienols plus WPI for 10 weeks.

Results showed that there were no significant changes in terms of food intake, body composition, glucose tolerance, insulin sensitivity among all the groups. However, both single supplement groups showed significant higher exercise capacity (greater than 50% longer running time), compared to the control group. While the combined supplement group did not further improve exercise endurance, the rats in this group did have higher endurance compared to the control group, said the researchers.

“Exercise generates free radicals such as reactive oxygen species (ROS) and if the level of ROS is left unchecked, it would lead to muscle fatigue or weakness in physical performance such as running, swimming and other sports activities,” ​said CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist at ExcelVite.

“Tocotrienols’ superior antioxidant activity explained the significant increase in exercise endurance as demonstrated in these two studies. Both animal studies with different physiological performances have shown that supplementation of EVNol helps to improve exercise endurance. These initial results are very promising and encouraging for our future studies, including a potential human clinical study in sport endurance and weight management,” ​added Lau.

Source: PLOS One
11(4), e0152562, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0152562
“Tocotrienols and Whey Protein Isolates Substantially Increase Exercise Endurance Capacity in Diet-Induced Obese Male Sprague-Dawley Rats”
Authors: A. Betik

Related news

Related products

show more

Pycnogenol® for Sport: eNOS and Beyond

Pycnogenol® for Sport: eNOS and Beyond

Content provided by Horphag Research | 12-Apr-2024 | White Paper

Engaging in physical activities immediately triggers a number of physiological responses from our body (1). First, our liver glucose output and adipose...

Innovation in convenient formats: vegan gummies

Innovation in convenient formats: vegan gummies

Content provided by Cambridge Commodities | 05-Mar-2024 | Product Brochure

Supplements and vitamins in pill form have been around for decades, but consumers are now seeking alternatives that fit with their busy lifestyles and...

Oats: A Superfood for Sport Nutrition and Health

Oats: A Superfood for Sport Nutrition and Health

Content provided by Fazer Mills | 26-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Oats are a versatile, affordable, and easy to use superfood that can offer many health benefits and a well-balanced nutritional profile for athletes.

Unlock the business potential of the protein trend

Unlock the business potential of the protein trend

Content provided by Valio | 24-Jan-2024 | White Paper

Read our white paper to learn how to overcome taste and texture challenges in protein products — and how to commercialise the protein trend by making delicious...

Related suppliers

Follow us

Products

View more

Webinars