Low tocotrienol levels in Polish people – an indication for the wider population?

21-Jun-2022

Tocotrienols have a wide spectrum of unique biological actions and benefits, including potent antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, cardioprotection, hepatoprotection and neuroprotection including cognition

Given the importance of tocotrienols as biologically active molecules, it is essential to assess the daily dietary intake of tocotrienols in the general population.

In a pilot study, researchers from Warsaw University of Life Sciences in Poland, evaluated the consumption and intake of tocotrienols in 202 adults in Poland. They developed a food frequency questionnaire (FFQ) to assess tocotrienols intake and compared it with real-time data from a 24-hour dietary record.

The FFQ questionnaire includes questions about vitamin E-rich food consumption in the 3 months prior to the trial. The 24-hour dietary record covered questions about the consumption of the same foods in the 24 hours leading up to the survey. The USDA database was used to calculate the average consumption of individual isomers and the sum of tocotrienols.

The FFQ approach shows an average tocotrienols intake of 2.25 mg/day in women and 2.14 mg/day in men.

While tocotrienols intake was 1.955 mg/day for women and 2.761 mg/day for males with the 24-hour dietary record. Hence, the results of the tocotrienols intake obtained with both methods were similar.

The highest content in the diet was beta-tocotrienol, and the lowest was delta-tocotrienol. Interestingly, this study also found that alpha- and delta-tocotrienol as well as the total sum of tocotrienols intake were significantly lower in women than in men.

What is interesting is that similar findings were discovered in the Japanese population, with a total intake of tocotrienols ranging from 1.9 to 2.1 mg /day. However, these are considered low levels of consumption where most of the human clinical studies with tocotrienols have used a dosage from 30 mg up to 400 mg daily of total d-mixed tocotrienol for beneficial effects.

This is an interesting study that quantifies the overall daily tocotrienol intake via our daily diet. While tocotrienols are naturally present in our diet, this study showed that it is insufficient to depend on diet alone especially for women. And two questions came to mind immediately:

  • Could these extremely low dietary tocotrienols intake be extrapolated or indication of the tocotrienol intake in the wider population especially the European continent?
  • How to increase the intake of tocotrienols to the level that confers benefits in view of the low intake of tocotrienols in the general population such as Asian and Western diets?

“Tocotrienol's unique beneficial health effects depend on achieving an appropriate plasma level that is in turn influenced by their absorption and bioavailability. The recommended daily intake of tocotrienols for general wellness is 30-50 mg/day and for specific health conditions, 75mg - 400mg/day, which is impossible to obtain via the daily diet alone," said Mr Bryan See, Vice President of PhytoGaia.

"As such, the ideal way is through dietary supplements or functional foods and beverages fortified with tocotrienols such as TocoGaia or TocoGaia ULTRA with bioenhanced absorption,” added Dr Ariati Aris, Scientific Affairs Specialist at PhytoGaia./Sign up for your free email newsletter

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