The term “vitamin E” refers to a family of eight related, lipid-soluble, antioxidant compounds widely present in plants. The tocopherol and tocotrienol subfamilies are each composed of alpha, beta, gamma, and delta fractions having unique biological effects. Different ratios of these compounds are found in different parts of a plant. For example, the green parts of a plant contain mostly alpha tocopherol and the seed germ and bran contain mostly tocotrienols. Along with other nutrients, tocopherols and tocotrienols are concentrated in the bran layers of the rye grain, and are only present at low levels in the flour endosperm. Tocopherols are also present in algae, mint teas, and other foods.102-105
Tocotrienols have shown superior action in maintaining arterial health.143-146 In 2010, a team of Asian scientists demonstrated that this class of nutrients, which are difficult to obtain in sufficient quantities through dietary sources alone, may provide superior support in maintaining triglyceride levels already within healthy range in aging individuals. Just 120 mg per day of gamma-delta tocotrienols (provided in 2-3 softgels) induced a 28% decline in triglyceride levels in the blood after just one month.147 This wonder nutrient is so effective because of its structure of double bonds in the isoprenoid side chain, making it a great scavenger of free radicals.148
Sesame lignans have been added to help block or inhibit the enzyme that breaks down tocotrienols, allowing tissue levels of tocotrienols to build up in the body.149 This translates into much greater antioxidant protection, decreasing destructive free radicals.
Research has shown that tocotrienols display potent neuroprotective properties and in particular alpha-tocotrienol is being touted as the most potent neuroprotective form of vitamin E.150-153