Almost half of osteoporotic fractures occur in the Western Pacific region and Southeast Asia, highlighting the importance of Dr. Ima Nirwana Soelaiman’s presentation during Palm Oil Nutrition Week: “The Role of Palm Tocotrienols in the Prevention and Treatment of Osteoporosis: In Vivo Studies.” With Europe and the Americas accounting for another 51 percent of these fractures, Drs. Shawn Talbott and Felicia Stoler were eager to hear news that might lead to fewer incidents of this often devastating disease.
Dr. Soelaiman’s research concerned the effects of osteoclasts on bone density. “Osteoclasts, cells that digest bone, are created and activated by free radicals,” explained Talbott. “They lead to an increase in bone resorption and bone loss.”
Male and female rats, chosen for the similarity in their bone anatomy and remodeling to that of humans, were given tocotrienol supplements. Not only did this lead to a reduction in bone loss by controlling oxidation, but the results were consistent in rats following ovariectomies, which surgically induces menopause. “The benefit was comparable to supplementing with calcium or estrogen,” said Talbott. “This may be due to tocotrienols increasing bone formation while at the same time reducing bone loss.”
“Bone density increased and bones were stronger in the tocotrienol group than the placebo,” confirmed Stoler. Encouraged by these findings, she continued, “I plan on adding tocotrienol supplements to my daily supplement regimen.”
Dr. Soelaiman is the Deputy Dean in Research and Innovation at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. She researches the effects of tocotrienols on osteoporosis and leads the bone metabolism research group of the Antioxidant and Metabolism Cluster.
Felicia Stoler is a member of Media Relations Inc.’s panel of highly respected third-party experts. She is compensated to express her own professional opinions, through the media, about certain products.
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.