Science Update

Recent Study Indicates Delta-Tocotrienols Support Antioxidative Status and a Healthy Inflammatory Response

Delta-tocotrienol is a form of vitamin E that has been shown in research to possess unique properties that support antioxidative status, blood sugar and lipid metabolism, cardiovascular health, and a healthy inflammatory response. Unlike tocopherols, the most well-known form of vitamin E, delta-tocotrienols have been shown to possess relatively high bioavailability and may also possess additional qualities in support of cellular health, neuroprotection, and healthy cholesterol metabolism.  

A recently published article by Dr. Asaf Qureshi at the Department of Biomedical Science, School of Medicine, University of Missouri-Kansas City, described his research regarding the efficacy of supplementation with delta-tocotrienols on markers related to inflammation, oxidative stress, and cholesterol in individuals with hypercholesterolemia. This condition has been associated with oxidative stress and an inflammatory response.  

In the clinical study by Qureshi and colleagues, 31 individuals older than 50 years of age with hypercholesterolemia received varying doses of delta-tocotrienol for 30 weeks.  All participants received titrated doses (125 mg, 250 mg, 500 mg, and 750 mg daily, respectively) of DeltaGold® delta-tocotrienol increasing every 4 weeks with a 2-week washout period in between. The American Heart Association Step 1 diet was also part of the study intervention. Biomarkers assessed included serum total cholesterol, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels, triglycerides, and certain cytokines associated with cardiovascular disease and inflammation.  

Delta-tocotrienol was shown to support antioxidative status and healthy inflammation in a dose-dependent manner, with optimal results at a daily dose of 250 mg. Decreases in serum C-reactive protein (CRP), nitric oxide (NO), malondialdehyde (MDA), gamma-glutamyl transferase (GGT), total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels were observed.  

Study observations also included the downregulation of plasma inflammatory micro RNAs (miRNAs), including miR-101a, miR-125a, miR-155, miR-223, and miRNA-146a in the presence of delta-tocotrienol supplementation. Elevated levels of miRNA-146a have been associated with cellular senescence.  

Overall study conclusions indicate that daily supplementation with 250 mg of delta-tocotrienol provided the most significant improvement in certain biomarkers associated with oxidative stress, inflammation, and cardiovascular health. The treatment group that received 250 mg of delta-tocotrienol daily showed improvements of 40% in CRP and NO, 34% in MDA, and 22% in GGT. Improvements of approximately 15% of the pro-inflammatory cytokines interleukin (IL)-1ɑ and IL-12, and interferon-gamma were also reported in this group.  

Delta-tocotrienols may play a role in cardiovascular health and the body’s response to oxidative stress and inflammation. Tocotrienols may also help support lipid metabolism and healthy aging. 

By Colleen Ambrose, ND, MAT