Tocotrienols are ½ of the vitamin E family. The essential nutrient vitamin E is composed of four tocopherols: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta, along with four tocotrienols: also alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. Many people have been consuming supplements composed of only D alpha tocopherol even though D alpha is only ⅛th of Vitamin E.
It is common knowledge that naturally occurring vitamin E has numerous essential functions and acts as an antioxidant in the human body . Please don’t get that confused with synthetic DL alpha tocopherol available in the pharmacy. Remember that the L in DL stands for lousy! The synthetic DL form has no useful purpose in the human body. On the contrary, numerous clinical studies show that the synthetic form behaves quite differently from the naturally occurring form and does not reduce oxidative stress.
Current medical research shows that tocotrienols are the most beneficial part of the vitamin E family. In fact, studies now show that tocotrienols protect against brain cell damage , reduce bad cholesterol , and help prevent cancer . Studies on tocotrienols and breast cancer show that gamma-tocotrienols target cancer cells by inhibiting Id1, a key cancer-promoting protein . Gamma-tocotrienol was shown to trigger cancer cell apoptosis (death) as well as being an anti-proliferant of cancer cells. This mechanism of tocotrienols has also been observed in prostate cancer and melanoma (skin cancer) studies .
Vitamin E, both tocopherols and tocotrienols, is extremely sensitive to the heat used in cooking. Therefore, one should look to uncooked food high in all the forms of vitamin E, or quality food supplements. The best commercially available food source of tocotrienols is rice bran, with a ratio of tocopherol-to-tocotrienol of 50:50, making rice bran also the most balanced source.
Sunwarrior’s Classic Protein starts out with organic whole grain brown rice, keeping the bran along with the protein. It is made at very low temperatures to keep the nutrients intact and is an excellent source of tocotrienols.
I have been consuming tocotrienol-rich rice bran for many years and the micronutrient tests that I take twice a year from SpectraCell Laboratories continue to show at the cellular level that my vitamin E levels are optimal.
Dr Craig B Sommers
Learn more about Dr. Craig Sommers
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