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Tocotrienols

Synonyms/Common Names/Related Substances:

  • 6-Hydroxy-2-methyl-2-phytylchroman, 6-O-carboxypropyl-alpha-tocotrienol (T3E), A-84, A HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor, alpha tocotrienol alpha-plus gamma-complex tocotrienol, alpha-T3, alpha-T3 H, alpha-tocopherol, alpha-tocopheryl, alpha-tocotrienol, beta tocotrienol, beta-tocotrienol, carboxychromanols, carotenoids, delta tocotrienol, delta-tocotrienol, eta-tocopherols, farnesylated benzopyran, gamma tocotrienol, gamma-carotenes, gamma-oryzanol, gamma-tocopheryl, gamma-tocotrienol, gamma-tocotrienyl 2-phenylselenyl succinates, herpigon, high gamma-complex tocotrienol isoprenoid, P25-complex, palm oil, palm olein, palmolein, PalmVitee® tocotrienol, phytonutrients, phytosterols, RBO, TCT, tocochromanols, tocopherols, tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF), tocotrienol-rich fraction (TRF25), tocotrienols, tocotrienols (palmvitee), tocotrienyl acetate supplements, TRF, TRF25, triterpene alcohols, vismione B, vitamin E, vitamin E acetate, vitamin E succinate, vitamin E tocotrienol (TCT), xanthones, zeta.

Clinical Bottom Line/Effectiveness

Brief Background:

  • Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble nutrient, and its family consists of tocotrienols and tocopherols. Natural tocotrienols exist in four isomers, alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-tocotrienols, each containing a different number of methyl groups on the chromanol ring (1). The most active of these may be the alpha-form (2). Tocotrienols are found in high concentrations in cereal grains (e.g., oat, barley, rye, and rice bran), with the highest level found in crude palm oil. Commercial tocotrienols are primarily obtained from natural sources, such as palm or rice bran oil, although synthetic tocotrienols are available. Tocotrienols derived from natural sources are known as d-tocotrienols, whereas synthetic tocotrienols, which are not commercially available, are known as dl-tocotrienols. Tocotrienol supplements are available in capsule and tablet form. The best food sources of vitamin E are dietary fat in the form of vegetable oils (sunflower and olive), nuts, seeds, and fortified cereals (3;4).
  • Despite expert opinion and basic research (5) that tocotrienols may be effective in lowering cholesterol levels, the available clinical research remains inconclusive.
  • Tocotrienols are mainly known for their antioxidant and anticancer activities. Tocotrienols have shown antiproliferative activity against breast cancer and prostate cancer cells in both in vitro and in vivo studies (6;7).
  • Tocotrienols may be useful in treating atherosclerosis (8;9) and diabetes (10). Clinical support is not available.

Dosing/Toxicology

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Precautions/Contraindications

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Interactions

Most herbs and supplements have not been thoroughly tested for interactions with other herbs, supplements, drugs, or foods. The interactions listed below are based on reports in scientific publications, laboratory experiments, or traditional use. You should always read product labels. If you have a medical condition, or are taking other drugs, herbs, or supplements, you should speak with a qualified healthcare provider before starting a new therapy.

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Mechanism of Action

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History

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Evidence Table

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Evidence Discussion

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Products Studied

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Author Information

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References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

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The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.