Most fat-soluble phytonutrients (including the regular tocopherol vitamin E) and antioxidants are poorly absorbed, which results in poor bioavailability. Thus consumers are not getting the optimal benefits or it takes a longer period of supplementation to see beneficial effects associated with these phytonutrients.
Bioavailability is of utmost importance to ensure the organs and cells in the body can accumulate a specific phytonutrient. What one eats may not necessary be well absorbed. As such, for dietary supplementation, absorption is far more important than what one takes.
In 2001, Prof. Lester Packer and his team at the UCLA reported in a paper published in the Journal of Nutrition (J. Nutr. 131: 369S–373S, 2001), the beneficial effects of tocotrienols in supporting healthy cardiovascular system, potent antioxidant function, breast health, skin health and neuroprotection. In the same paper, the authors also talked about the poor absorption and low bioavailability of tocotrienols.
“We understand that the absorption and bioavailability of tocotrienols are dependent on many factors such as the type and amount of oil vehicle in diets, body weight and individual capacity in eliminating the active ingredients. High dosage level of tocotrienol in a formula (oil extract) does not necessary guarantees absorption. In short, for oral administration of tocotrienols, a consistent and increased absorption are important to ensure bioavailability and achieving therapeutic levels in the plasma. The main question is, how we can achieve this with tocotrienols?” said Bryan See, regional product manager of Carotech Inc.
Published studies conducted at the University of Science Malaysia showed that the absolute bioavailability of tocotrienols is the highest for d-alpha-tocotrienol (27.7 percent), followed by d-gamma-tocotrienol (9.1 percent) and lowest in d-delta-tocotrienol (8.5 percent). These studies showed that the absorption of vitamin E (both tocopherols and tocotrienols) is low and erratic, and dependent on various optimal physiological conditions (influenced by type of fats present in food), and hence, the often observed low bioavailability.
“Based on these findings, Carotech and Hovid embarked in a R&D program to develop the SupraBio System, a unique self-emulsifying delivery system that ensures a consistent and increased absorption of each individual tocotrienols into the plasma. Clinical trial with the patented Tocomin SupraBio system shows an increased absorption of each individual tocotrienol by an average of 250 percent into the blood plasma after oral administration even in the presence of tocopherol, compared to regular formulation of tocotrienol oil extract,” continued See.
The Tocomin SupraBio system provides the following advantages:
i. An average of 250 percent increase in absorption (two period, two sequence crossover human study) of each of the individual tocotrienols (alpha-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienol).
ii. Consistent & rapid absorption of individual tocotrienols
iii. Promotes absorption of tocotrienols via lymphatic system
iv. Absorption does not depend on dietary fat intake / food
v. Ensures a rapid transport of tocotrienols into the blood
The excipients in Tocomin SupraBio are food-grade emulsifiers, with self-affirmed GRAS status.
“Tocomin SupraBio is self-affirmed GRAS and obtained “no objection notification letter” from the FDA. More importantly, Tocomin SupraBio is used in various human clinical studies,” said See.
The ultimate benchmark for a lipid phytonutrient is to proof its accumulation in human organs / tissues. A recently published human tissue distribution study for tocotrienols, the first ever, further provides evidence that the Tocomin SupraBio system enhances the absorption and distribution of tocotrienols to vital tissues and organs, even in the presence of tocopherols. (Journal of Nutrition, 2012, 142(3):513-9).
Prof. Chandan Sen and his research team at the Ohio State University Medical Center showed that orally supplemented palm mixed tocotrienols complex, in the presence of alpha-tocopherol (Tocovid SupraBio softgel capsules manufactured with Tocomin SupraBio supplied by Carotech) are well absorbed and significantly distributed to the skin, adipose, brain, heart and liver. In addition, a significant finding from this human clinical study was that 50 percent of end stage liver disease patients given 12 weeks of oral supplementation of Tocovid SupraBio have reduced Model for End Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score, compared to just 20 percent for those on alpha-tocopherol.
“All the preclinical and clinical studies on Tocomin SupraBio is a natural full-spectrum tocotrienol/tocopherol complex with d-alpha-tocopherol (78 percent of total d-mixed tocotrienols and 22 percent of d-alpha-tocopherol). We do not produce palm tocotrienol complex that is tocopherol free. We maintain the same ratio and composition as naturally found in palm oil and diet.
“In addition, we can see increased concentration of tocotrienols in the human blood plasma and organs after oral supplementation of Tocomin SupraBio in many other human clinical studies. Hence, the absorption of tocotrienols (Tocomin SupraBio) is not impaired but on the contrary, can be increased even in the presence of alpha-tocopherol and regardless of food status,” said See.
To find out more about the latest Human Tissue Distribution Study of Tocomin SupraBio, as well as its beneficial effects towards Liver Protection and Neuro Protection, please visit Carotech at SupplySide West, Las Vegas, November 7th – 8th, Booth number 18033
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.