~ Palm Tocotrienol Protects Against Stroke Injury of Brain

By M Saraswathi, Bernama, 09-28-05

PETALING JAYA, Sept 27 (Bernama) -- The first evidence that palm tocotrienol, an extract from palm oil may protect against stroke injury of brain, was revealed at the International Palm Oil Congress (PIPOC) by Vitamin E researcher, Professor Chandan K Sen.

He said that neuroprotective (brain health) benefits of palm tocotrienol dietary supplement is a new discovery and links the supplement to more and diverse uses.

Findings from Sen's latest research studies showed that even short term dietary intake of palm tocotrienol is readily absorbed by major organs - the brain, the heart, the lungs and the skin.

In the past, other forms of dietary tocotrienol did not manage to reach the major organs and dampened research in tocotrienol as a dietary supplement, he said in a statement released today at PIPOC 2005, being held here.

Vitamin E is a family of related compounds known as tocopherols and tocotrienols and these compounds have been linked to health benefits such as reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer, boosting immune system function and acting as an antioxidant.

The research study conducted by Sen was funded by a research grant in excess of US$1.2 million (about RM4.51 million) from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders & Stroke, a division under the US National Institute of Health.

Sen is the Director of the Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, Director of the DNA Microarray & Genetics facility of the Davis Heart & Lung Research Institute, and Director of the Ohio State Comprehensive Wound Center at the Ohio State University Medical Center.

In laboratory trials conducted by Sen and reported in the Journal of Biological Chemistry, alpha-tocotrienol was found to be much more potent than the regular alpha-tocopherol found in most Vitamin E preparations, in protecting brain cells from glutamate-induced toxicity.

Tocotrienol was also found to cross the blood-brain barrier and protects neurons, conferring protection against stroke.

"Study results on the neuroprotective properties of palm tocotrienol are encouraging and we hope to conduct large-scale clinical trials," Sen said.

"Attention to the naturally occurring tocotrienols, especially to their neuroprotective properties, can provide us with a powerful tool to combat neurodegeneration especially stroke, by safe dietary means," said Sen, who noted that the general misconception is that tocopherols are the only vitamin E molecules in nature.

Tocotrienols are concentrated in cereal grains such as oat, barley, and rye, rice bran, with the richest source found in fruits of palms, such as locally grown oil palms.

Palm tocotrienol is patented by a Malaysian company, Carotech Bhd, and marketed internationally by another Malaysian company, Hovid Bhd. Its registered trademark is Tocomin. Tocomin is manufactured by Carotech Bhd and is commercially available as nutritional supplement that is 50 percent tocotrienol, the statement said.

It is the main ingredient found in Tocovid SupraBio 50mg and 200mg manufactured by Hovid Bhd that is available in leading pharmacies nationwide.

Vist http://www.transdatacorp.com, for more info, email info@transdatacorp.com.

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