Curr Pharm Des. 2011;17(21):2147-54.
Tocotrienols and cardiovascular health.
This review emphasizes the effects of tocotrienols on the risk factors for atherosclerosis, plaque instability and thrombogenesis, and compares these effects with tocopherol. Tocotrienols reduce serum lipids and raise serum HDL-C. Alpha-tocopherol, on the other hand, has no effect on serum lipids. Tocotrienols have greater antioxidant activity than tocopherols. Both reduce the serum levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) and advanced glycation end products, and expression of cell adhesion molecules. The CRP-lowering effects of tocotrienols are greater than tocopherol. Tocotrienols reduce inflammatory mediators, δ-tocotrienol being more potent, followed by γ- and α-tocotrienol. Tocotrienols are antithrombotic and suppress the expression of matrix metalloproteinases. They suppress, regress and slow the progression of atherosclerosis, while tocopherol only suppresses, and has no effect on regression and slowing of progression of atherosclerosis. Tocotrienol reduces risk factors for destabilization of atherosclerotic plaques. There are no firm data to suggest that tocotrienols are effective in reducing the risk of cardiac events in established ischemic heart disease. Alpha-tocopherol is effective in primary prevention of coronary artery disease (CAD), but has no conclusive evidence that it has beneficial effects in patients with established ischemic heart disease. Tocotrienols are effective in reducing ischemia-reperfusion cardiac injury in experimental animals and has the potential to be used in patients undergoing angioplasty, stent implantation and aorto-coronary bypass surgery. In conclusion, experimental data suggest that tocotrienols have a potential for cardiovascular health, but long-term randomized clinical trials are needed to establish their efficacy in primary and secondary prevention of CAD.
- [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
My interpretation is as follows:
CRP, as a measure of inflammation, is arguably a better predictor of cardiovascular risk than cholesterol. You will note that tocotrienols also reduce glycation which is exciting news for diabetics. Glycation is also one of the best indicators of the decrement in cellular health associated with ageing.
Tocotrienols may be beneficial for other inflammatory diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and, I suspect, diseases such as multiple sclerosis.
Tocotrienols reduce the risk of blood clots such as seen in cases of deep vein thrombosis and reduce and may even reverse the formation of artherosclrotic plague that can lead to heart attack, stroke, poor eyesight and dementia.
Tocotrienols may reduce ischemia-perfusion cardiac injury - better known as angina and the damage it may cause to heart muscle.
They may be a safe alternative to drugs like aspirin and warfarin.
Tocotrienols are more effective for the above as compared to vitamin E.
As per usual, no researcher is ever going to finish their conclusions without recommending more research. Got to keep the funding coming in to keep employed. That's fine - we need much more research about nutrition alternatives to expensive and harmful pharmaceutical drugs; but that does not mean we sit on our hands and wait and wait and wait....
Incidentally, I am not aware of any side effects from taking these other than looking good and feeling great!
Conclusion:If you are one of the 80% of the population who are at risk of suffering cardiovascular-related ailments during your life time, it makes sense to include tocotrienols in your daily diet.
Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about tocotrienols and whether this may be beneficial for you. If you have a health condition and on medication then you must arrange a consultation before making any changes or adding a supplement such as these: