Articles on Health
New Kid on the Block? Tocotrienols are beginning to
make a splash, but they are not new to AIM
If you read a lot of health-and-nutrition-type magazines,
you’ll have seen some advertisements for a new health
substance. These ads say things like maintain healthy
cholesterol and heart health. These ads
are talking about something that AIM brought to AIM Members 19
months ago: tocotrienols.
When AIM included tocotrienols in
CellSparc 360 in February 1997, there might have been
a fair amount of head scratching.Tocotrienols? What are
they? For new Members then, we’d like to tell you
about this old-to-AIM-but-new-to-others substance.
When you attempt to explain tocotrienols, you can cause
confusion. That is because, scientifically speaking,
tocotrienols are a type of the well-know antioxidant, vitamin
For those who need to know, "vitamin E" actually describes
two groups of four related compounds: tocopherols and
tocotrienols. However, in "everyday" usage, when the average
person, or the average doctor, speaks of vitamin E, he or she
is referring to tocopherols. The second group, tocotrienols,
largely has been ignored. This is because researchers believed
tocotrienols had lesser "value" than tocopherols. We are now
discovering that this is not true: Tocotrienols may be every
bit as healthful as what most of us know as vitamin
Tocotrienols and health
According to Qureshi and Qureshi (Tocotrienols, novel
hypocholesterolemic agents with antioxidant properties;
unpublished), a number of reports from the 1970s and 80s
established that populations that consume large amounts of
grains have lower incidences of cardiovascular disease.
Research and exploration continued and eventually
alpha-tocotrienol was isolated and identified as a substance
responsible for the lowering of fat and cholesterol
The first tocotrienols studies examined cholesterol levels
in animals. Tocotrienols’ apparent cholesterol-lowering effect
eventually led to clinical trials.
In 1991, Qureshi and Qureshi (American Journal of
Clinical Nutrition. 1991. 53:4. Supp 1021S-1026S) studied
tocotrienols’ effect in a pilot test with hypercholesterolemic
humans. In this double-blind, crossover test, dietary
supplementation with tocotrienols resulted in drops of 13
percent and 15 percent in total cholesterol after 14 and 28
days, respectively, and drops of 4 percent and 8 percent in
LDL cholesterol in 14 and 28 days, respectively. The placebo
group was given corn oil and recorded no changes.
Significantly, when the tocotrienol group switched over to
the corn oil group, serum cholesterol levels continued to drop
for 6 weeks. This indicates that tocotrienols may be stored in
the lipids and that they may be protected by tocopherols.
Later studies in the 1990s bear out tocotrienols’ potential
health benefits. They all indicate that tocotrienols indeed
lower cholesterol levels.
So, have tocotrienols established themselves on the health
block? Although the body of research on tocotrienols is not
large, it does point to spectacular benefits. According to
Carl Germano, M.A., R.D., CNS, "it is apparent that their
[tocotrienols] activity and importance rank them as one of the
most important class of nutritional compounds for the
prevention and treatment of disease.
What is vitamin E?
Vitamin E is the term used to describe eight naturally
occurring, essential, fat-soluble nutrients: alpha-, beta-,
delta- and gamma-tocopherols plus a class of compounds related
to vitamin E called alpha-, beta-, delta-, and
Tocopherols are found in corn, soybeans, and olive oil and
are universally acknowledged as playing a role in reducing the
risk of developing heart disease and other debilitating
illnesses. When the average person, or the average doctor,
speaks of vitamin E, he or she is referring to
Tocotrienols are just starting to become known to both the
research community and the public. They are found in palm,
rice bran, and barley oils. An increasing body of research is
establishing many possible health benefits for them.
AIM Product Suggestion:
Combines CoQ10 with tocotrienols and fish oil to provide one of the highest quality CoQ10 products on the market.
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