Vitamin E is known for various health purposes—promoting heart health is one of them. Tocotrienol is a chemical under the Vitamin E family that exhibits promising cholesterol-lowering activities in the human body. Tocotrienols target sources of inflammation within the body, to help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Over the last few decades, Vitamin E has grown in popularity for its antioxidant activity. It is now used for various health purposes—particularly promoting heart health. Under the Vitamin E family, there are two kinds of chemicals: Tocopherols and tocotrienols. Tocotrienols in particular, however, have exhibited promising cholesterol-lowering activities in the human body.
What’s in tocotrienol?
Tocotrienol is rich in antioxidants. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, these are molecules that defend us from cell deterioration or damage in the long run.
Within our bodies, there are naturally-occurring molecules called free-radicals, which are unstable atoms. When there are too many free radicals, individuals face an increased risk of oxidative stress which can play a role in the onset or progression of aging and different kinds of illnesses and diseases. Antioxidants respond to free radicals by destroying them.
What’s the difference between tocotrienol and tocopherol?
Tocotrienol and tocopherol are both considered true forms of Vitamin E, but tocotrienols are less commonly found in nature. Tocotrienols target sources of inflammation within the body, to help reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease.
Why is tocotrienol a necessary nutrient for cardiovascular health? Can it cure my heart problems?
Tocotrienol is not medically proven to cure heart problems, but it may supplement your efforts to maintain good health. Here are some of the potential benefits to your heart.
Fights inflammaging due to oxidative stress - Chronic inflammation is one among many harmful effects that oxidative stress can inflict. If left unchecked, it can eventually give rise to a host of heart conditions and age-related diseases such as atherosclerosis (plaque buildup in the arteries), among others. This persistent inflammation is called inflammaging.
- According to a review published in the Current Pharmaceutical Design medical journal, tocotrienol is said to suppress, regress, and slow atherosclerosis progression in patients, whereas tocopherol suppresses atherosclerosis progression but had no effect on regressing or slowing the condition. Further clinical trials are needed in order to verify tocotrienol’s ability to prevent coronary artery disease.
- Lowers cholesterol levels - There is existing evidence that tocotrienols may help lower cholesterol levels—in particular, fight bad cholesterols (low-density lipoproteins) that can aggravate heart attacks or heart failures. For instance, a study found that tocotrienol’s molecular mechanism includes potentially slowing the progression of atherosclerosis better than the other form of Vitamin E, tocopherol.
Consuming food like oats, olive oil, sunflower oil, and corn is one avenue to boost our bodily absorption of tocotrienols. Taking dietary supplements is another way to increase tocotrienol levels in the body. The typical recommended dosage ranges from 15 milligrams to 100 milligrams per day. However, the National Institute of Health advises individuals to avoid taking more than 1,000 milligrams (or 1 gram) of tocotrienol daily.
Are there risks to taking tocotrienol?
While side effects rarely present upon intake of Vitamin E supplements, caution must still be exercised. Currently, research on tocotrienol’s interaction with other medications is lacking. However, seek medical advice if you are taking any blood-thinning medications and iron supplements before starting your course of tocotrienol supplements.
IMPORTANT: Consult your healthcare professional before taking any supplements with tocotrienol.
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