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Cholesterol Worries? This Form of Vitamin E May Help

Vitamins containing a combination of various forms of vitamin E called tocotrienols may help lower cholesterol according to a recent study published in the May 2011 issue of Functional Foods in Health and Disease.

Tocotrienols are members of the vitamin E family found in plant oils, saw palmetto and cereal grains such as oats, barley and rye. They work together with tocopherols to protect cell membranes and DNA from the damaging effects of free radicals.

For this most recent study, researchers from the University of Science Malaysia recruited 32 healthy participants with high cholesterol levels. The participants were randomly assigned to receive 300 mg of mixed tocotrienols or a soybean oil placebo daily for 6 months.

After 4 months of supplementation, the researchers observed a 9% decrease in overall cholesterol levels and after 6 months they saw an average decrease of 11%. In addition, there was a 13% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol levels after four months, and a 17.5% decrease after six months.

There were no changes in cholesterol levels of the participants in the placebo group.

These findings add to the science supporting the benefits of tocotrienols, which play an important role in various functions in the body. Tocotrienols have been linked to reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s and certain cancers as well as boosting the immune system. These benefits are largely attributed to the anti-inflammatory properties of tocotrienols and their high level of antioxidants.

Despite these many benefits, most Americans do not receive the bare minimum daily recommendation for vitamin E, which is 15 mg daily for adults. Taking a high quality supplement can help you get your daily dose of vitamin E. Some foods high in this important vitamin include breakfast cereal, tree nuts and tomato products.

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