The company’s CEO WH Leong told NutraIngredients-USA that in the past two years, there has been more focus to get the fat-soluble compound into more functional drinks and beverages.
During the company’s first incarnation as Carotech Inc., which was founded in 1993, the supplier’s signature crude palm oil-derived mixed carotene and tocotrienol ingredients were used mainly in dietary supplements. Then, Leong said, the ingredient’s use in topical applications for cosmetic products started increasing the next 10 years.
“Companies are looking at tocotrienols as a much more potent form of vitamin E,” Leong said about functional food and beverage applications. “Especially [as antioxidants for] athletes, in powdered drinks,” he added.
Science builds on tocotrienol’s benefits
Leong shared several clinical trials that ExcelVite is funding and supporting. One study published in the American Heart Association’s journal STROKE (Gopalan Y, et al, 2014) observed tocotrienol’s potential neuroprotective benefits.
The company called it “the largest human clinical study ever conducted for tocotrienol to date,” involving 121 subjects supplemented with ExcelVite’s EVNol SupraBio, a palm tocotrienol complex.
In the study, tocotrienols were observed to attenuate the progression of white matter lesions, which are regarded as manifestations of cerebral small vessel disease.
Another potential benefit of the vitamin E is in sports nutrition. An animal study published this year looked at tocotrienol’s endurance benefits, and found that rats supplemented with palm tocotrienol prolonged obese rats’ running capacity by greater than 50%.