Scientists in Singapore recently found that gamma and delta tocotrienols, components of vitamin E, are effective for lowering triglycerides.
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The study shows for the first time that these two tocotrienols suppress genes that enable triglyceride production, suggesting that tocotrienols are able to regulate triglyceride synthesis in the body. At the same time, it appears that there is a reduction in the level of triglyceride transport lipoproteins (VLDL and chylomicron), which distribute fats around the body.1
What are triglycerides?
Triglycerides are a type of fat or lipid found in your blood. They are formed when you consume excess calories that you don’t use immediately (and probably don’t need). The triglycerides are sent to fat cells where they are stored, and often show up as a spare tire around your midriff. Hormones regulate the release of triglycerides from fat tissue so they meet your body’s needs for energy between meals.
Why are excess triglycerides harmful?
High levels of triglycerides are closely linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, atherosclerosis and diabetes.
The scientists at the Davos Life Science Lab in Singapore found that gamma and delta tocotrienols (in this case derived naturally from palm oil), are potent in lowering triglyceride levels by 28% in the blood of human subjects after two months of supplementation. In addition, the study participants lost weight, body fat mass, body fat percentage and inches around the waist, which points to the potential of tocotrienols as a natural tool in the battle against obesity and metabolic syndrome (pre-diabetes).2
What you need to know about vitamin E
Even the vitamin E products you find at high-end health food stores and your alternative doctor’s office will likely be primarily alpha tocopherol. It is the most easily isolated and synthesized of the eight constituents of Vitamin E—and by far the most commonly used form in supplementation. But this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the supplement that is going to provide you with the full range of health benefits.
The vitamin E found on drugstore shelves is called alpha tocopherol. It is the most easily isolated and synthesized of the eight constituents of Vitamin E—and by far the most commonly used form in supplementation. But Vitamin E occurs naturally in foods in eight different forms (four tocopherols: α-, β-, γ-, δ- tocopherol and four tocotrienols: α-, β-, γ-, δ-tocotrienol), each of which has unique as well as complementary biological actions.3
Vitamin E formulas containing the full spectrum of tocotrienols and tocopherols are hard to find. When you look for a vitamin E supplement, make sure it contains gamma in addition to whatever else is in your mix. Even the high-priced tocotrienol formulas usually fail to include gamma tocopherol.
The research from the Singapore study provides evidence that a natural vitamin E containing tocotrienols (and tocopherols) is a far more powerful form of vitamin E with unique health benefits not shared by alpha-tocopherol, the common form of vitamin E. And one of the best features is that it can help lower triglycerides without the side effects of pharmaceutical drugs.
- DavosLife Center. Medical News Today “Tocotrienols Shown to be Effective in Lowering Fat Levels in Blood”
- Teo V, Chang C, Zhang X, Nesaretnam K, Shiba S, Yap Y, Zaiden N, Yap W, Ong S, Xu C. Gamma Delta Tocotrienols Reduce Hepatic Triglyceride Synthesis and VLDL Secretion.J Atheroscler Thromb.2010 Aug 10. [Epub ahead of print]
- Pizzorno, Lara. Beyond α-Tocopherol: “A Review of Natural Vitamin E’s Therapeutic Potential in Human Health and Disease: Part 1.” Longevity Medicine Review.