Dispatches from Experimental Biology 2017

Vitamin E tocotrienols may improve metabolitic profiles in older women

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

© iStock/Dominic Sender
© iStock/Dominic Sender

Related tags: Antioxidant

Dietary supplements containing vitamin E tocotrienols derived from annatto may lower inflammation and oxidative stress in older women with osteoporosis, says a new study.

Vitamin E is a family of eight separate but related molecules: four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, delta). Tocotrienols are derived from three major sources, including rice, palm and annatto.

Data presented at the recent Experimental Biology 2017 event in Chicago indicated that supplementation with the DeltaGold product from American River Nutrition led to a change in the redox environment in the women, it suppressed collagen degradation, and altered tyrosine and tryptophan metabolites linked to the antioxidant effect of tocotrienols.

The DeltaGold product is composed of 90% delta-tocotrienol and 10% gamma-tocotrienol. American River Nutrition funded the study.

Researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Georgia State University, and the University of California at Davis also reported that the tocotrienol supplement was associated with significant reductions in levels of 8-hydroxy-2'-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a marker for oxidative stress and DNA damage, compared with placebo.


Commenting on the study's findings, Dr Barrie Tan, Founder and President of American River Nutrition, told us: “This is the first clinical trial using DeltaGold tocotrienol supplementation on bone health in women losing mineral density (osteopenia). In the 12-week study in post-menopausal women (~60 year-olds), a reliable oxidative stress marker (8-OHdG) was reduced dramatically by 100% (on 300 mg/d) and 150-200% (on 600 mg/d). This is significant, as postmenopausal women are under physiologic stress – especially to their bone architecture – when hormones drop precipitously.”

Study details

The researchers recruited 89 postmenopausal osteopenic women with an average age of 60 and randomly assigned them to a placebo group (olive oil) or low (300 mg/day) or high (600 mg/day) doses of vitamin E tocotrienols for 12 weeks. Compliance rates were over 90% for all three groups. For the metabolomics study the researchers only assessed the placebo and high dose tocotrienol groups at week 12.

Results showed that 8-OHdG was significantly reduced after 12 weeks in the tocotrienol group, compared with placebo, while metabolomics analysis revealed increases in 48 biochemicals and decreases in 65 biochemicals following tocotrienol supplementation, compared to baseline.

“The results confirmed higher tocotrienols as expected, lower catabolites of tryptophan, and several changes in lysophospholipids and acylcarnitines in subjects given [600 mg per day tocotrienol group],”​ wrote the researchers in their abstract published in the FASEB Journal​.

“The results showed that 12-week TT supplementation modulated serum metabolite profiles in postmenopausal, osteopenic women, a response potentially linked to reduced inflammation and oxidative stress,”​ they wrote.

Source: FASEB Journal
Volume 31, Supplement 972.2
“Effect of 12-week tocotrienol supplementation on postmenopausal women with low bone mass: a serum metabolomics profile”
Authors: C.L. Shen et al. 

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