Tocotrienols in Foods

Tocotrienols are isomers of vitamin E that share activity with alpha tocopherol, the main form of vitamin E in green plants. Tocotrienols are essential for health and it has been shown that they have overlapping health effects with that of tocopherols. Supplements of tocotrienols are available, but they are expensive, and so the best way to obtain a good intake of tocotrienols is to eat tocotrienols containing foods. Because they are produced in plants, the best forms of the tocotrienols are plants. The foods highest in tocotrienols are palm oil and rice bran oil, which are often used to manufacture tocotrienols supplements. Other rich sources of tocotrienols are grapefruit seed oil, oats, hazelnuts, maize, olive oil, buckthorn berry, rye, flaxseed oil, poppy seed oil and sunflower oil. Tocotrienols are used by plants to protect their oils from rancidity and this explains the high concentration of tocotrienols in seed oils. There is no known recommended intake of tocotrienols but a healthy diet should contain both tocotrienols and tocopherols. 

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Ahsan, H., Ahad, A. and Siddiqui, W.A. 2015. A review of characterization of tocotrienols from plant oils and foods. Journal of Chemical Biology. 8(2): 45

About Robert Barrington

Robert Barrington is a writer, nutritionist, lecturer and philosopher.
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