This post was originally published on May 4, 2014 and updated on October 29, 2021

The health of your brain’s white matter affects how well it learns and functions. This is also the area of the brain most often affected by stroke. Results of a two-year human clinical study published in the American Heart Association journal, Stroke, show that vitamin E tocotrienols derived from Malaysian palm oil supports white matter health by weakening the progression of white matter lesions.

Stroke affects 15 million people each year. About 40 percent of those who survive will be left with moderate to severe impairments that require special care. When the brain is attacked by a stroke, cardiovascular disease or trauma, dangerously toxic substances can build up around the nerve cells. They can damage those cells or cause them to die.

Brain white matter lesions are not only linked to increased stroke risk, but they are also known to be linked to development of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease.

“These studies show that taking palm-derived tocotrienols daily may be an easy way to be proactive about your brain health, especially if you are at high risk for stroke,” comments emergency room physician Dr. Joseph Keenan, who is also considered one of the leading national experts in the field of nutritional supplement research and cardiovascular disease. “However it’s unlikely that most Americans currently get this benefit even if they take vitamin E supplements because most of those supplements available do not contain alpha tocotrienol.”

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Dr. Keenan explains that, “Natural vitamin E comes in eight different forms. Four are called tocopherols, which are the forms typically found in the synthetic or natural vitamin E supplements. The other four are called tocotrienols, nutrients which function completely differently than tocopherols.

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.”


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