Special edition: Cognitive health
Over 90% of Americans are reportedly not consuming the RDA for vitamin E, with most eating less than half of the RDA. The potential brain health benefits of vitamin E are linked predominantly to its antioxidant effects, which play a key role protecting membranes for oxidation, and omega-3 fatty acids from peroxidation.
The tocotrienol forms of vitamin E are gaining increasing attention for their potential brain health benefits. WH Leong, VP of Carotech Inc., told NutraIngredients-USA that several European epidemiological studies led by researchers from renowned academic institutions such as the Karolinksa Institutet of Stockholm, Sweden and University of Perugia, Italy – collectively found that blood plasma levels of all vitamin E forms (ie : tocopherols and tocotrienols) in elderly population, plays an important role in the development of mild cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease.
“Those with high levels of all vitamin E forms have lower risk compared to those with low levels with tocotrienols being the most beneficial,” he noted.
Carotech’s Tocomin SupraBio ingredient has been used in brain health studies, he noted. “Over a decade of US NIH-funded in vitro and in vivo research has led to the discovery of tocotrienol’s unique neuroprotective effect and elucidation of its mechanism in reducing damages from toxic - and stroke-induced brain injuries,” he noted.
“This decade long research at the Ohio State University Medical Center shows that tocotrienols at very low concentration (nanomolar level) cross the blood brain barrier to reach the brain and exert protective effects against stroke-induced injuries,” he added.
“Meanwhile, a recent ground-breaking human clinical trial published in the American Heart Association’s journal – STROKE [Gopalan et al., 2014, Vol. 45, pp. 1422-8], reported that Tocomin SupraBio supplementation for 2 years at 200mg twice daily slows down the development of white matter lesions (WMLs) in human brain,” said Leong.
“WMLs are closely related to vascular events of the brain and are indications of fragile brain vascular network, and an independent prognostic measure of future stroke risk. This study involved 121 subjects – the largest human clinical study ever conducted for tocotrienol to date.”
Leong added that an emerging opportunity for vitamin E tocotrienols was to mitigate the long term effects of repeated head trauma associated with sports, and also to slow down brain aging or to prevent cognitive impairment in older population.
For more insights on vitamin E for brain health, please read: Vitamin E: The ‘overlooked’ nutrient and its brain health benefits