‘Unambiguous nutritional benefits’: Annatto tocotrienol positively affects multiple biochemicals in the human body, says study

By Stephen Daniells

- Last updated on GMT

Tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E, are derived from three major sources: Rice, palm and annatto (pictured)  Image © domsender / Getty Images
Tocotrienols, a form of vitamin E, are derived from three major sources: Rice, palm and annatto (pictured) Image © domsender / Getty Images

Related tags Vitamin e Tocotrienol annatto Bone health biochemistry Inflammation Oxidative stress

Supplementation with vitamin E tocotrienols from annatto led to significant changes in over 100 biochemicals linked to inflammation and oxidative stress, says a new study with post-menopausal women.

The showed that 600 mg per day of the commercial DeltaGold tocotrienol product by American River Nutrition for 12 weeks led to biochemical changes relating to “redox homeostasis, bioactive lipids, amino acid metabolism, steroid hormones synthesis, and bone degradation/collagen turnover,” ​according to researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Georgia State University, and the University of California, Davis.

Designed to explore the effects of the vitamin E form on bone health, the study did find significant improvements for this end point, with a reduction of bone matrix erosion explained by its suppression of inflammation and oxidative stress.

The study’s findings were published in Frontiers in Nutrition​. American River Nutrition supplied the tocotrienol supplement and funded the trial.

“The type of study structure-function claims are built upon”

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.

Commenting on the research, Dr. Barrie Tan, President of American River Nutrition, told NutraIngredients-USA: This is the first time ever that annatto tocotrienol was shown to positively affect the nutritional biochemistry in the human body, rather than treating a condition as was the focus of prior studies. This is the type of study structure-function claims are built upon, a Holy Grail in the dietary supplement industry that’s nearly impossible to reach. I am unaware of any trial done on any other vitamin, mineral or supplement like this.

“Annatto tocotrienol resets the body’s nutritional metabolism and redirects endogenous nutrient biochemistry. This first-of-a-kind study shows unambiguous nutritional benefits of tocotrienol to everyone, especially for adults and postmenopausal women,”​ added Dr Tan.

Study details

The new study included 89 postmenopausal women with confirmed osteopenia were randomly assigned to one of three groups: Placebo, 300 mg per day of DeltaGold or 600 mg per day of DeltaGold for 12 weeks. All of the groups also received daily calcium and vitamin D supplements. For the metabolomic analysis, 20 women from the placebo and 600 mg groups were randomly selected.

The results showed that levels of delta-tocotrienol and its metabolite were higher after 12 weeks of supplementation. The tocotrienol was incorporated into tissue cell membranes to improve phospholipids in favor of long-chain fatty acids.

Metabolomic analysis indicated that tocotrienol supplementation led to many biochemical changes, including conserving methionine to increase cysteine and glutathione, and decreasing homocysteine; conserving tyrosine to potentiate protein synthesis; and modifying microbiome-friendly and detox-friendly metabolites.

“Differences in compounds associated with bone degradation/collagen turnover indicate […] that TT affects bone metabolism and collagen synthesis/degradation,” ​wrote the researchers.

“As the members of the vitamin E family gaining more recent interests, tocotrienols have demonstrated broad biological effects on oxidative stress, inflammation, cell proliferation, adipogenesis, osteoclastogenesis, and osteoblastogenesis, and lipid metabolism,” ​they added.

“Our findings provide evidence to pursue future studies that would afford a mechanistic understanding of the nutritional values and health benefits of tocotrienols on bone remodeling and osteoblast functions.”

Source: Frontiers in Nutrition
December 2021, doi: 10.3389/fnut.2021.766711
“Tocotrienol Supplementation Led to Higher Serum Levels of Lysophospholipids but Lower Acylcarnitines in Postmenopausal Women: A Randomized Double-Blinded Placebo-Controlled Clinical Trial”
Authors: C-L. Shen et al.

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