We wear helmets to protect our brains from blunt force damage, but what can we do to protect them from internal ones? An astonishing 15 million people suffer from strokes each year; approximately 40 percent of survivors will face long-lasting moderate to severe impairments. A recent Better Nutrition article reported on the research indicating that tocotrienols, a specific form of vitamin E found most abundantly in Malaysian palm fruit oil, may protect the brain from stroke damage.
You may already know that our brains consist of gray matter. However, roughly 50 percent of your brain is made up of white matter. Your white matter’s health impacts how well it learns and functions. Often, this part of the brain is most affected by stroke.
White matter lesions (WMLs) are abnormal regions in the brain that can be detected by MRIs. They are often found in elderly people, and are associated with atherosclerosis in the small blood vessels of the brain, hypertension and diabetes mellitus. If the condition worsens, WMLs may result in cognitive impairment and dementia.
Stroke, the American Heart Association’s journal, recently published a study that demonstrates the impact of tocotrienols on WMLs, which are linked to increase the risk of stroke and other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.
In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial, leading tocotrienol researchers at the University Science Malaysia, Penang, Malaysia, followed 121 volunteers for two years. Each volunteer underwent MRIs to confirm the presence of WMLs. One group received 200 mg. of mixed tocotrienols (available in the U.S. as Tocovid Suprabio) twice daily for two years, while the others received a placebo. All volunteers were instructed to maintain their regular diets and physical activity levels. MRIs were performed at entry into the study (baseline), and then repeated after one year and again after two years.
Previous research led by Professor Chandan K. Sen of The Ohio State University funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has identified tocotrienols as potent neuroprotective agents. “Over the last 10 years a series of work published by our laboratory recognized the many properties of tocotrienol by which it may fight stroke damage to the brain.”
Tocotrienols may also decrease the likeliness of Transient Ischemic Attacks leading to strokes.
If you are hoping get the benefits discovered in the research – and this applies to any nutritional supplement – it is wise to use the same product and brand that was used by the researchers. That way you are assured that you are getting the proper purity and dosage.