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Vitamin E Tocotrienols Could Slow Progression of Liver Disease

An exciting new study suggests that orally delivered vitamin E in the form of tocotrienols slows down the progression of model end stage liver disease (MELD) in patients awaiting liver transplant. This is the only intervention to date that has been shown to reduce the risk of morbidity in patients suffering from MELD.

Conducted by researchers at the Ohio State University Medical Center, the findings of this study were published in the March 2012 edition of the Journal of Nutrition.

Participants included 80 adults who represented a mix of healthy subjects and surgical patients. The surgical participants included individuals with heart failure, those awaiting liver transplants, obese people who had received plastic surgery and epileptics. For this subsection of the study, the researchers focused specifically on the blood and tissues levels of tocotrienol and tocopherol vitamin E in MELD patients.

The healthy participants all received 400 milligrams of tocotrienol daily for 12 weeks, while the surgery patients were assigned either 400 mg of tocotrienol or 400 mg of tocopherol for the same period of time. For the tocotrienol supplementation, participants were given Tocomin SupraBio™ Palm Tocotrienol Complex softgels.

The researchers measured blood levels of both forms of vitamin E in the vital organs at the onset and conclusion of the study, including the liver of the MELD patients.

Supplementation of tocotrienol significantly increased the levels of that nutrient found in blood, skin, fatty tissue, the brain, the heart and the liver of the healthy participants. Additionally, levels found in the brain matched levels found to be neuroprotective in earlier research.

For the participants awaiting liver transplant, tocotrienol supplementation lowered the MELD score in 50% of the participants, while tocopherol supplementation resulted in a lower score for only 20 % of the participants. The MELD score is a scoring system used to measure how far chronic liver disease has advanced and whether or not the patient needs a liver transplant.

Palm oil is a great source for tocotrienols and they can also be found in rice, bran, oat, barley and wheat germ. Previous studies have shown that tocotrienols may be able to help lower cholesterol, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and stroke and lower blood pressure.

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