Here’s an excellent presentation from Palm Oil Nutrition Week in Malaysia. Dr. Yuen Kah Hay – Universiti Sains Malaysia – discussed some of the latest research about how palm tocotrienols may protect our nervous system. Some interesting facts that I learned from Dr. Hay’s research review include:
• Tocotrienols have a half-life of two to four hours in humans (so twice daily dosing is recommended)
• Tocotrienols completely prevented brain damage (white matter lesions – also known as “mini-strokes”) over the course of two years while the placebo group advanced in damage (more lesions and greater brain damage)
• Animal studies have previously shown benefits in grey matter, suggesting that palm tocotrienols may help to protect the entire brain
• Bioavailability can be a huge issue to ensure absorption and biological benefits
• Arterial compliance (blood vessel stiffness) is improved with palm tocotrienols
• A new study is underway that investigate peripheral neuropathy and cognitive dysfunction in type I and type II diabetics
The restricted blood flow following an ischemic stroke may hinder a neuroprotective agent’s travel through the brain. Dr. Yuen Kah Hay concluded that such agents – including palm tocotrienols – should be administered prior to a stroke. Because tocotrienols are a natural form of vitamin E, there are no risks associated with their daily, long-term consumption.