A randomized, controlled study reveals that red palm oil (RPO, enriched with high levels of tocotrienols, tocopherols and carotenoids) supplementation decreases lipid peroxidation and endotoxemia (the presence of heat stable toxin derived from certain gram negative bacteria in the blood), production of inflammatory cytokines, and monocyte tissue factor (TF) in chronic liver disease patients.
In this study, 60 patients with mean age of 62-years-old with Child A/B genotype 1 HCV-related cirrhosis with no history of alcoholic beverages consumption were recruited. The patients were randomly assigned to receive either 300mg vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol acetate) or 15 gram RPO supplementation for 8 weeks. Blood parameters such as circulating endotoxin, plasma endotoxin-inhibiting capacity, macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), urinary isoprostane-F2α-III, and monocyte TF activity, erythrocyte malondialdehyde (MDA) were examined after second, fourth and eigth week. Liver ultrasound imaging were carried out to examine liver steatosis.
Both RPO and vitamin E tocopherol-supplemented groups do not demonstrate any change in level of endotoxin and plasma endotoxin-inhibiting capacity, but they lead to significant reduction in erythrocyte malondialdehyde and urinary isoprostane- F2α-III when compared to baseline.
When comparing to vitamin E tocopherol-supplementation, RPO-supplemented group shows significant improvement in oxidative stress via decrease in M-CSF level and monocyte TF activity following fourth and eighth week of supplementation respectively. Additionally, RPO-supplemented group shows tendency towards lowering erythrocyte MDA level more significantly than vitamin E tocopherol-supplemented group.
No changes are observed in liver ultrasound images for both RPO and vitamin E groups.
“Oxidative stress plays a key role in the progression of chronic liver diseases. Serum M-CSF is mostly secreted inflammatory cytokine while monocyte TF activity is strongly associated with the production of endotoxemia among patients diagnosed with chronic liver failure. Both M-CSF and monocyte TF activity take part in pathophysiology of oxidative stress. The good news is consumption of RPO, with wholesome array of tocotrienols, tocopherols and carotenoids help in ameliorating chronic liver diseases with decreased level of plasma M-CSF and monocyte TF activity, as demonstrated in this study,” says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist at ExcelVite.
“While the study uses red palm oil, it may not be convenient for consumers to take 15g of the oil on a daily basis. Not to mention the ingestion of high amount of oil. ExcelVite has developed and launched EVSpectra – a natural red palm oil concentrate consisting of a mixture of full spectrum tocotrienols (alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienols), tocopherols and carotenoids. The ratio of total vitamin E (Tocotrienols / Tocopherols) to total mixed carotenoids is 2: 1, which is exactly the same as found in red palm oil but it is 100 times more concentrated than the regular red palm oil. EVSpectra is suitable for formulation into softgel or liquid capsules. Hence, all the unique health beneficial phytonutrients of red palm oil is concentrated into one single extract (“EVSpectra”) for ease of formulation and supplementation of dietary supplements as well as food products to support healthy liver functions, “says Bryan See, Regional Product Manager, ExcelVite.
Catanzaro, R., et.al. (2016). Beneficial effect of refined red palm oil on lipid peroxidation and monocyte tissue factor in HCV-related liver disease: a randomized controlled study. Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int.: 15(2):1593-601. doi:10.1016/S1499-3872(16)60072-3.
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.