bone health

Palm oil’s tocotrienols heralded for their effect on bone health

More than half of Americans age 18 and older are affected by bone or joint conditions. This is why Bone and Joint Action Week is so important. This global event brings awareness to arthritis, back pain, osteoporosis, and other bone and joint conditions. Held October 12-20, the event encourages activities and projects which promote understanding of disorders, prevention and advances in disease management. Tocotrienols and carotenoids, nutrients abundant in Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil, are getting attention from researchers. These compounds may have positive effects on the joint and bone health.

Tocotrienols may reduce osteoporotic fractures
Osteoporosis is a common condition which causes bones to become brittle and weak. A simple fall that wouldn’t cause serious damage in someone with healthy bones may cause a fracture in someone with osteoporosis. Studies suggest that approximately 50 percent of women and up to 25 percent of men age 50 and older will break a bone due to this disorder.

Researchers are learning, however, that consuming palm oil’s tocotrienols may lead to stronger bones. In one study, rats that were given tocotrienol supplements had less bone loss caused by oxidation. After hearing a presentation on the study, registered dietitian nutritionist Felicia Stoler said: “Bone density increased and bones were stronger in the tocotrienol group than the placebo.” Encouraged by these findings, she added, “I plan on adding tocotrienol supplements to my daily supplement regimen.”

High serum carotenoids levels may be associated with stronger hips
Hip fractures are one of the most common osteoporotic fractures and also one of the most deadly. Twenty percent of seniors who break a hip die within one year from either complications related to the fracture or the surgery to repair it. A recent human clinical study offers hope. The study revealed that a high concentration of serum carotenoids is positively correlated to a higher bone mineral density (BMD) in middle-aged and elderly Chinese adults, especially in women’s hips. Red palm oil is one of nature’s richest sources of carotenoids. It contains 15 times more carotenoids than carrots, and 30 times more than tomatoes.

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This large, cross-sectional study involved 1898 women and 933 men, ages 50 to 75 years. “Women are generally at higher risk of losing bone mass as women have smaller bones compared to men. In addition, the level of estrogen (i.e. the hormone that confers bone protection) in women reduces significantly when they reach menopause,” explained ExcelVite nutritionist CheeYen Lau. “Based on the results, it is suggested that the increased intake of mixed carotenoids with a high content of alpha-carotene benefit both women and men, especially women who are more prone to bone mass loss.

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.

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