Tocotrienols are a subset of the vitamin E family, and, until now, have not got as much attention. This may change things.
The tocopherols are the darlings of the vitamin E family, and always have been. Alpha tocopherol was the first to be discovered, and for a very long time it was thought to be the only active form. Now we know much more about this family of nutrients and it is getting very interesting.
There are four types of the tocopherols, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. The natural form of these are noted with the prefix d-. The reason for pointing this out is the fact that much of the vitamin E on the market is the l- form, or synthetic. This brings us to the newest discovery in the vitamin E family, the tocotrienols. There are also four types of the tocotrienols, alpha, beta, delta, and gamma. This brings the total to eight (8) forms of this fat soluble family.
Since the discovery of the tocotrienols much research has been done on them as to various health benefits. They have shown to have good results in protecting the cardiovascular system as well as many other health benefits. Now we have the most recent research that shows they may help in hte battle of the waistline as well.
Researchers from National Taiwan University have found that palm tocotrienols, palm being one of the most readily available sources of tocotrienols, has “inhibitory actions” on fat cells. They tested different forms of the vitamin E for their anti-proliferate effects on 3T3-L1 adipocytes (fat cells).
What they discovered was the gamma-tocotrienol “causes disruption in mitochondrial membrane potential and increases ROS (radical oxygen species) generation, which ultimately lead to fat cell death”.
“This particular study further shows that gamma-tocotrienol is the most effective form of vitamin E in reducing fat cell numbers via regulating specific signaling pathways….which underscores the benefit of using it as a natural supplement in managing obesity”.
Knowing that there are many other benefits of taking the tocotrienols, this just adds one more reason, maintaining a healthy number of fat cells.
As more research comes to light there are sure to be more interesting benefits found for this little known form of the vitamin E family.