This post was originally published on June 27, 2016 and updated on April 28, 2021.
Vitamin E compounds called tocotrienols are linked to everything from protecting your brain from stroke damage to heart and eye health
A little-known vitamin compound is getting a lot more attention from healthcare researchers and health-savvy consumers. It’s not in your daily multivitamin and you may not be getting enough of it from the food you eat. Here’s why vitamin E tocotrienols, derived from all-natural, non-GMO Malaysian sustainable palm oil, are grabbing so much attention. And why you’ll want to make sure you’re getting plenty of them in your diet from now on.
There are two forms of vitamin E
Many people think of vitamin E as single nutrient but there are actually two forms: tocopherols and tocotrienols. Each form has different health benefits:
- Tocopherols: This is the common form of vitamin E found in multivitamins and stand-alone vitamin supplements. They are naturally found in nuts and seeds. Tocopherols possess anti-inflammatory properties among other benefits. They are inexpensive to obtain and possess.
- Tocotrienols: Found most abundantly in red palm oil, tocotrienols have as much as 40 to 60 times the antioxidant power of tocopherols. Tocotrienols excel at keeping wrinkles at bay, maintaining a healthy brain and retaining eye health.
What the world’s researchers are now discovering
The excitement about tocotrienols is mounting as scientists around the world turn their attention toward this “other” vitamin E. While many of the studies are preliminary, they are providing evidence of this vitamin’s incredible potential.
Because they are potent cell protectors, tocotrienols support numerous body systems. Scientists have learned that they may:
- Help manage cholesterol levels
- Delay the onset of cataracts and other eye conditions
- Promote younger-looking skin
- Improve insulin resistance
- Reduce cancer risk
- Protect your brain from stroke damage
- Support liver health
- Improve bone density
- Improve digestive health
Even if you are eating a healthy diet, you may not be getting enough tocotrienols
Most of the vitamin E in our foods – about 70 percent – are tocopherols. Even if you consume vitamin E-rich foods such as nuts, seeds and leafy greens, you may be missing out on this super-nutrient. Vitamin E is found in the oily parts of plants so cooking oils are often a good source. But there are no tocotrienols in “healthy oils” such as olive, soybean and safflower. Palm oil has the most, with 20 times more tocotrienols than coconut oil. Malaysian sustainable palm oil is one of nature’s richest sources of tocotrienols.
Easy ways to get more tocotrienols in your diet
Red palm oil, which can be used in virtually any kind of cooking, is readily available in premium and international grocery stores. Look for non-GMO Malaysian sustainable palm oil, which is also naturally trans fat-free.
Palm-derived tocotrienols are also available in supplements
According to research scientists, daily supplementation of 300mg a day supports brain, heart and skin health.
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