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An insight into tocotrienol for brain health protection


ExcelVite Sdn. Bhd., Jalan Ipoh/Chemor, Perak, Malaysia


This article will bring readers to the first neuroprotective action of tocotrienol which was reported in the year 2000. We will then go through a series of NIH-funded research that discovered how tocotrienol exerts neuroprotection via 5 key cytosolic targets, independent of its antioxidant activity. Following these significant and meticulous in-vitro studies, promising results from pre-clinical and clinical studies were published in 2012 and 2014 respectively.


Oxidative stress could be defined as an imbalance between oxygen reactive species (ROS) and the ability of the body to counteract these reactive products. The brain is highly susceptible to oxidative stress because of its high fatty acid content, high requirement of oxygen, as well as limited number of antioxidant protection systems (partly due to the blood-brain barrier). In regard to brain health and cognitive support, increasing evidence has suggested that oxidative stress is implicated in the pathophysiology of neurodegenerative diseases such as (and not limited to) Alzheimer’s disease (AD), Parkinson’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), traumatic brain injury and cerebral ischemia. Because oxidative stress is shown to be one of the major factors for declined cognitive function, several antioxidants have been studied to potentially prevent or reduce these damages. One of the newer antioxidants extensively studied for its unique brain health-promoting benefit is Vitamin E  Tocotrienol.


Vitamin E is a collective term for 8 lipophilic tocopherols (α-, β-, γ ...

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