Both Tocopherol and Tocotrienols are part of Vitamin E family, are considered to be a major-chain breaking antioxidants in the lipid component of biological membranes. Comparing both the molecular structure of Tocopherol and Tocotrienol, we notice that the only difference lies in the presence of double bonds in Tocotrienols, but not Tocopherol. This small difference in their molecular structure allows Tocotrienols to attack free radicals in the body whilst covering a larger surface area of the cell membrane more quickly.
This leads to a greater anti-oxidative potency in Tocotrienols compared to Tocopherols. Today, most of the Tocopherols in the market are semi synthetic with soy and corn based Tocopherols. While synthetic Tocopherols do exist in the market, synthetic Tocotrienols ingredients do not. Natural form of Vitamin E is always better than the synthetic form due to its high bioavailability and is able to retain in the body tissues significantly longer than synthetic Vitamin E.
Overall Health Benefits of Tocotrienols
The health benefits of antioxidants is established since 1990s. The superiority of Tocotrienols is linked to its anti-oxidative properties, which is 40-60 times more potent as compared to Tocopherols. As Tocotrienols exhibits the similar biological activities that are also exhibited by Tocopherols, such as anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory and cholesterol lowering, it presents a large potential to consumers wishing to consume lipid soluble anti-oxidants for greater health benefits. Tocotrienols also have unique benefits which are not seen in Tocopherols. Due to its higher antioxidative potency, even at a very small concentrations are shown to protect neuro cells from degenerating hence can be used as preventive treatment for neurodegerative disorders such as cognitive decline and dementia.
Natural Extracts of Supplement
Crude palm oil extracted from the fruits of Elaeis Guineensis contains a high amount of Tocotrienols, up to 800mg/kg mainly consisting of gamma-Tocotrienols and alpha-Tocotrienols. Palm oil represents one of the most abundant natural sources of Tocotrienols compared to other cereal grains such as wheat, rice and barley. As a trans-fat free oil source and rich in naturally occurring vitamins such as Tocotrienols, palm oil is extremely versatile in culinary applications and nutraceutical industry.