Malaysia’s New Straits Times is educating its 4.4 million readers about the benefits of palm-derived tocotrienols for protecting brain cells. The article, by writer Marina Emmanual, focused results of a clinical study demonstrating tocotrienols’ neuroprotective benefits to humans. She interviewed researcher and Universiti Sains Malaysia professor Dr. Yuen Kah Hay for the article on brain health.
“Malaysia’s top spot as the first country to commercialize tocotrienols has been strengthened by the findings of a two-year human clinical study carried out at Universiti Sains Malaysia, which now lend promise for the preservation of brain health,” she writes.
The clinical trial found that palm-derived vitamin E tocotrienols may support white matter health by weakening the progression of white matter lesions (WML), or oxygen-starved brain cells. WMLS are linked to the development of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other degenerative brain diseases.
“Injury to white matter has been reported to be the major cause of functional disability in cerebrovascular disease,” Yuen is quoted as saying. Previous animal studies have shown that tocotrienols may prevent white matter damage during a stroke. They may also improve blood circulation to the damage area after a stroke.
In the interview, Yuen points out that tocotrienols are actually prescribed by medical doctors in some parts of the world.
“As proven by studies carried out abroad, palm oil is healthy and just as good as olive oil, if one looks in terms of their cholesterol profile. What is needed now is to convince consumers.”
White matter comprises about 50 percent of our brain. It is the white matter that provides connections to our various brain centers. It is considered key to both our learning and memory.
Stroke is the third-leading cause of death in the U.S. Some of the tocotrienol-related brain research, conducted at Ohio State University, has been funded by the American Heart Association.