Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family that have been proven to influence several aspects of health such as neurological conditions and free radical reduction. Over the years, tocotrienols have often been overshadowed by a more commonly known form of vitamin E – tocopherol. Though both forms share some health related aspects, research is finding that tocotrienols might have a greater impact on human health than previously believed. A recent study published in Nutrition & Metabolism (June 2011) reported that 6 months supplementation with tocotrienols was associated with an improvement in plasma cholesterol levels, decrease in advanced glycosylation end products (AGEs), and increased vitamin E levels and antioxidant enzyme activity. This study included 62 subjects from two age groups, 35-49 years and 50+ years, who were randomly assigned to receive either the tocotrienols or placebo for the 6 month period. Both HDL cholesterol levels and total plasma HDL to cholesterol levels improved. The reduction in AGEs, which are normally occurring by-products of metabolism and aging that have been associated with the progression of age-related diseases, was correlated to a reduction in oxidative stress and protein damage. Though more research is needed to discover all of the benefits tocotrienols have to offer, this study supports the necessity for that research.
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