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Annatto-Derived Tocotrienols May Slow Osteopenia

Osteopenia, defined by a thinning of bone mass, is a precursor and serious risk factor for the development of osteoporosis. A recent study suggests that annatto-derived tocotrienols may help improve bone biomarkers in women with osteopenia.


Participants in the study included 87 postmenopausal women who were given either 300 mg or 600 mg per day of an annatto-derived tocotrienol or a placebo. All of the participants were also given 400IU vitamin D and 500 mg calcium daily.


The researchers examined the bone biomarkers bone-specific alkaline phosphatase (BALP; bone formation), N-terminal telopeptide (NTX; bone resorption), soluble receptor activator of nuclear factor-kappaB ligand (sRANKL; bone resorption), and osteoprotegerin (OPG; bone formation).


The researchers noted significant improvement in bone biomarkers after six weeks and even more at the end of the 12-week period. The ratio of BALP/NTX increased by approximately 40% at six weeks and approximately 100% at twelve weeks for both supplement groups. A higher ratio is a measure for bone remodeling.


They also noted a decrease in the RANKL/OPG ratio of approximately 7-13% at six weeks and 13-24% after 12 weeks. A higher ratio signifies bone resorption. In addition, there was a 49% decrease in urine 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), an oxidative stress biomarker, in the tocotrienol groups.


Researchers from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center conducted the study. It was published online ahead of print on January 12, 2018, in the journal Osteoporosis International.


Previous studies have shown that tocotrienols may help improve cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and improve blood pressure levels.

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