Vitamin E Tocotrienols May Protect Against Stroke

April 14, 2014

Mixed tocotrienols are effective in attenuating the progression of white matter lesions in humans, the results of a new study have shown.

Mixed tocotrienols are effective in attenuating the progression of white matter lesions (WMLs) in humans, the results of a new study have shown.

Previous cell-based and animal studies showed mixed tocotrienols are neuroprotective, but the effect was yet to be proven in humans, according to researchers from the Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Selangor, Malaysia, and other centers.

The investigators randomized 121 volunteers aged 35 years and older who had cardiovascular risk factors and MRI-confirmed WMLs to receive 200 mg of mixed tocotrienols or placebo twice a day for 2 years. They measured and compared WML volumes from MRI scans obtained at baseline, 1 year, and 2 years using validated software, and they collected fasting blood samples for full blood chemistry investigation.

The mean WML volume of the placebo group increased after 2 years; that of the tocotrienol-supplemented group remained essentially unchanged. The mean WML volume change between the 2 groups was not significantly different at the end of 1 year but was significant at the end of 2 years for both per-protocol and intention-to-treat analyses. No significant difference was observed in the blood chemistry parameters between the groups.

This randomized, double-blind, and placebo-controlled clinical trial demonstrated that natural full spectrum palm mixed tocotrienol complex (Tocomin SupraBio®) is effective in attenuating the progression of WMLs in humans, according to good manufacturing practices–certified tocotrienol producer Carotech, Inc, located in Edison, New Jersey.

WMLs are regarded as manifestations of cerebral small vessel disease, reflecting varying degrees of neurodegeneration and tissue damage with potential as a surrogate end point in clinical trials, the researchers noted. They are linked to an increased stroke risk and to the development of other neurodegenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer and Parkinson disease. Tocotrienols, which are members of the vitamin E family, may help protect the brain from stroke damage.

The article was published online on April 3, 2014 in Stroke, an American Heart Association journal.