Editor’s Note: A joint study published in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease may provide hope to individuals affected by the debilitating disease. In the study, mice induced with Alzheimer’s that consumed palm tocotrienols – the potent antioxidant present in Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil – exhibited signs of memory and leaning improvement compared with the control mice. More information on the study is below.

Palm tocotrienols improve cognitive functions and regulate brain metabolic abnormalities in Alzheimer’s mice model
Supplementation of palm tocotrienol complex improves exploratory activity, memory and learning abilities of AβPP/PS1 double transgenic (Tg) Alzheimer’s disease (AD) mice. These results were based on a joint study conducted by researchers from the National University of Malaysia and Shiga University of Medical Science, Japan.

Five-month-old transgenic AD mice were divided into three groups, namely, Tg-ctrl (control); Tg-TRF, receiving 60 mg/kg palm tocotrienol-rich fraction, (Palm TRF); and Tg-PO, receiving palm oil stripped of vitamin E. A non-Alzheimer’s wild-type mice receiving water (WT-ctrl) acted as a positive control. Daily administration of Palm TRF and placebo respectively was carried out for 10 months and all mice were subjected to behavioral tasks for 13 days.

Administration of Palm TRF improved exploration activity in these transgenic AD mice as measured by open field tests. The Morris water maze test was conducted and results showed that Palm TRF enhanced spatial learning and memory in Tg-TRF mice while Tg-ctrl mice exhibited impaired place navigation learning and spatial memory. Palm TRF was also able to prevent working memory deficit, as displayed in novel object recognition test. The administration of Palm TRF also increased the recognition index of Tg-TRF to the WT-ctrl level.

A pilot untargeted metabolomics study was also carried out to examine the metabolic changes in three brain regions of untreated and TRF-treated transgenic AD  mice, hence making this the first study to investigate the effect of Palm TRF on both behavioral and brain metabolomic changes in transgenic AD mice model. The majority of metabolomic alterations in these mice were found in the hippocampus region with the largest changes observed in nucleotides, amino acids and lipids. The alterations were then ameliorated by Palm TRF treatment. It was revealed that 19 putatively identified metabolites involved in several metabolic pathways related to AD were modulated by Palm TRF, hence suggesting that Palm TRF alleviates the cognitive dysfunction in AD by providing protection against metabolic disruption.

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“The number of people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease is expected to increase worldwide and it is best if we could halt or slow down the progression of this disease from the very early stage. We are pleased to know Palm TRF is able to ameliorate brain abnormalities and behavioral changes caused by Alzheimer’s disease,” said ExcelVite Nutritionist Diyanah Roslan.

Durani, L. W., Hamezah, H. S., Ibrahim, N. F., Yanagisawa, D., Nasaruddin, M. L., Mori, M., … & Zurinah, W. (2018). Tocotrienol-Rich Fraction of Palm Oil Improves Behavioral Impairments and Regulates Metabolic Pathways in AβPP/PS1 Mice. Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease, 64(1), 249-267.


Disclaimer: The statements in the above article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.


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