Palm tocotrienol’s impact in postmenopausal osteoarthritis and osteoporosis

Published: 8-Jan-2024

Both emulsified palm tocotrienol (EVNol SupraBio) and non-emulsified palm tocotrienol (EVNol) demonstrated protective effects on bone and joint health in ovariectomised rats suffering from osteoporosis and osteoarthritis

This finding shed light on the potential development of tocotrienol supplements specifically designed for postmenopausal women at a high risk of developing osteoporosis and osteoarthritis.

In this in vivo study, a comparison was made among six groups of adult female Sprague-Dawley rats:

  1. Baseline group (rats without undergoing any interventions)
  2. Sham group (rats that subjected to laparotomy but not ovariectomised)
  3. Negative control group (ovariectomised rats with no treatment)
  4. Positive control group (ovariectomised rats treated with 250 mg/kg/day glucosamine sulphate and 1%w/v calcium carbonate for 10 weeks)
  5. EPT group (ovariectomised rats treated with 100 mg/kg/day emulsified palm tocotrienol with 25% vitamin E content [EVNol SupraBio] for 10 weeks)
  6. NEPT group (ovariectomised rats treated with 100 mg/kg/day non-emulsified palm tocotrienol with 50% vitamin E content [EVNol] for 10 weeks).

The results pertaining to bone health illustrated that NEPT was effective in mitigating bone loss in the context of oestrogen deficiency as shown by the ability of NEPT in preserving time-dependent increase in bone mineral density, preserving trabecular bone volume over total volume and increasing trabecular thickness.

Additionally, in the EPT group, there was a significant increase in osteoblast surface versus bone surface compared with the baseline and positive control groups, suggesting a potential anabolic effect of tocotrienol.

Furthermore, treatment with EPT led to a notable increase in stiffness and Young's Modulus, indicating an enhanced ability of the bone to resist deformation under force.

Besides that, the circulating levels of RANKL were reduced in the EPT group, likely to be a result of the potent antiosteoclastogenesis and antiresorptive effects of tocotrienols.

As for the results related to joint health, all treatment groups consistently exhibited lower joint width values compared with the negative control group starting from the time of osteoarthritis induction to the end of the study, indicating their ability to prevent joint swelling and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis.

Moreover, both the EPT and positive control groups regained their grip strength 3 weeks after osteoarthritis induction, suggesting an improvement in joint function.

By contrast, COMP levels were reduced in the EPT, NEPT and positive control groups, indicating less cartilage breakdown. Also, EPT and NEPT preserved cartilage histology, as reflected in various Mankin’s subscores.

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This may be attributed to the effect of palm tocotrienol in suppressing oxidative stress and stimulating chondrocytes’ self-repair mechanisms and anabolic actions.

The human equivalent dose of the palm tocotrienol used in this study is 1135 mg for a 60 kg human, which it paves the way for more targeted and effective interventions in the future.

“The current study shows that emulsified palm tocotrienol (EVNol SupraBio) exerted similar beneficial effect on bone and joint health as non-emulsified palm tocotrienol (EVNol) despite having a lower tocotrienols concentration. This finding validates the bioenhanced and optimum absorption properties of EVNol SupraBio.”

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