Tocotrienols in spotlight for chronic disease benefits

By Lorraine Heller

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Tocopherol, Tocotrienol

The health benefits of tocotrienols from palm oil in reducing the risk of chronic disease will be the focus of a two-day conference to be held in Las Vegas next month.

Organized by the Malaysian Palm Oil Board (MPOB), the event will bring together food and supplement industry executives as well as academia and regulatory experts to discuss the latest science surrounding palm tocotrienol complex as well as its application potential.

According to Malaysian firm Carotech, a leading tocotrienol supplier which has worked closely with the MPOB on the development and promotion of the ingredient, key health benefits associated with palm tocotrienol complex include: neuroprotection against stroke-induced injuries, cardioprotection, skin nutrition (acceleration of wound healing and reduction in scarring), anti-inflammatory action, anti-cancers (prostate, breast, colon, etc.), and protection against radiation injuries.

Vitamin E break-down

Tocotrienols are a form of vitamin E that have traditionally been in the shadow of the more popular vitamin E form – tocopherols.

Overall, there are eight forms of vitamin E: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Alpha-tocopherol (alpha-Toc) is the main source found in supplements and in the European diet, while gamma-tocopherol (gamma-Toc) is the most common form in the American diet.

Tocotrienols (TCT) are only minor components in plants, although several sources with relatively high levels include palm oil, cereal grains and rice bran.

While the majority of research on vitamin E has focused on alpha-Toc, studies into tocotrienols account for less than one per cent of all research into vitamin E.


However, a number of the most recent studies on tocotrienols have been conducted using Carotech’s Tocomin-branded ingredient, including research on its potential for immune function, brain health after stroke and male pattern baldness.

In April this year, the firm confirmed the GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status of its Tocomin ingredient after receiving no objection from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). This opened up the US market for the ingredient to be used in food products including margarine and spreads, bakery goods and functional beverages.


Next month’s conference on Tocotrienols & Chronic Disease ​will be held at Wynn Resort in Las Vegas, Nevada, from July 29-30.

Speakers at the event will include Prof. Chandan Sen, Prof. Paul Sylvester, Dr. Sharon Campbell and Dr. Kalanithi Nesaretnam and Prof. KH Yuen.

The event is free of charge. More information on the programme can be found here​.

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