Palm Oil Nutrition Week, sponsored by The Malaysian Palm Oil Council, drew attendance by some of the world’s top medical professionals and researchers including nutritionist and author Dr. Shawn Talbott, from the U.S. and holistic pharmacist and author Sherry Torkos from Canada. Both attended a presentation by Dr. Chandan Sen from Ohio State University, one of America’s leading experts on tocotrienols. His lecture addressed how the tocotrienols in Malaysian palm oil may be protective against stroke.
“[Studies suggest that] tocotrienols are generally neuroprotective at very low levels,” explained Talbott, who found it interesting that “at least five different mechanisms work together, resulting in antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.” These are aided by the enzyme 12-lipoxygenase, which is a catalyst to deoxygenating polyunsaturated fatty acids.
Along with their neuroprotective potential, “tocotrienols also help re-vascularize the stroke area,” added Torkos. Blood vessels may heal faster allowing blood to return to, and nourish, the damaged area.
Tocotrienols are stored in fat tissue after consumption. This means that “their benefits may persist even after supplementation has stopped,” clarified Torkos. If someone forgets about their daily dosage, the body may be able to use its stores. There aren’t any other supplements, or drugs for that matter, that can claim that perk.
Both Talbott and Torkos were excited by Dr. Sen’s comments that palm tocotrienols might even be better for secondary prevention of stroke than aspirin. Unlike aspirin and its many side effects (stomach problems, excessive bleeding, etc), tocotrienols have no known side effects on the body.
Dr. Sen has been interviewed several times regarding his scientific discoveries and many of his studies have been published.
Robin Miller is a health and nutrition editor with more than 30 years of industry experience. She researches and writes about the nutritional benefits of palm fruit oil, with the goal of giving readers factual, science-based information that will be useful in their daily lives.