Saturday, September 03, 2005

Tocotrienol as Antioxidant

Tocotrienol belongs to the group of Vitamin E, however is far more potent than the common forms of Tocopherol. Vitamin E is a generic term for both Tocopherols and Tocotrienols derivatives and consists of eight different compounds.

There are significant differences in their chemical structures which make them act very differently in humans. Besides free radical scavenging effect, the antioxidant function of tocotrienols is also associated with lowering tumor formation, DNA damage and cell damage. Tocotrienols have been shown to be a powerful antioxidant with anti-cancer and cholesterol lowering properties. Experimental work and clinical studies have confirmed that Tocotrienol activity as an antioxidant, anti-cancer and cholesterol reducing substance to be much stronger than Tocopherols.

The market of Tocotrienols is limited by supply and its antioxidant power has been proven to be much stronger than Tocopherol. Tocotrienols are obtained from natural sources. Commercially available Tocotrienols are mainly derived from palm or rice bran oil.

Much attention has been given by pharmaceutical companies to develop new cholesterol lowering agents. Recent research programs provided insight and significance to Tocotrienols. Especially δ- and γ-Tocotrienols were shown to be effective nutritional agents to treat high cholesterol. In particular, γ-Tocotrienol appear to act on a specific enzyme called 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMG-CoA) involved in cholesterol production in the liver. Tocotrienols suppress the production of this enzyme, which may result in less cholesterol being manufactured by liver cells.


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