I was excited to learn during Palm Oil Nutrition Week that the carotenoids in Malaysian palm fruit oil are one of two nutrients with skin-protecting properties. Dr. Suzana Makpol’s presentation entitled “Tocotrienols in Cellular Ageing Prevention: Evidence from Genes and Proteins Analysis” demonstrated that palm fruit oil’s tocotrienols may play an important role in slowing the cellular aging process.

Here are a few ways that tocotrienols may impact cellular aging:

  • Tocotrienol may help prevent telomere shortening induced by oxidative stress
  • Telomeres are segments of DNA that can be used as an index of cellular aging
  • Longer telomeres indicate “younger” and healthier cells
  • Tocotrienols may delay aging in skin cells (fibroblasts), especially when cells are subjected to oxidative stress
  • Cellular expression of structural skin protein such as collagen and elastin is up-regulated by tocotrienol which suggests an enhancement of skin’s “rebuilding” ability

Hailing from Malaysia’s own University of Kebangsaan, Dr. Makpol and her colleagues research tocotrienols’ potential to slow the aging process. She is a member of the Ageing & Degenerative Diseases Research Group, which was organized under Niche of Health and Medical Technology Research UKM.

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