The power of vitamin E – tocopherols and tocotrienols

Did you know that Vitamin E is not just one nutrient, but a family of powerful compounds that play a crucial role in our health? Today, let’s dive into the fascinating world of Vitamin E and uncover the differences between its two main members: tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that our bodies need for optimal health. What’s interesting is that our bodies can store this vitamin, so we don’t have to consume it every single day. However, it’s still important to ensure we get enough of it regularly.

Now, let’s talk about the dynamic duo: tocopherols and tocotrienols.

Tocopherols are most commonly found in olive oil, sunflower oil, corn oil, and soya bean oil. On the other hand, tocotrienols are abundant in palm oil, barley, rice bran, and other sources.

For a long time, α-tocopherol, a specific type of tocopherol, received the most attention as an anti-oxidant supplement. Little is known by the consumers that tocotrienols, often overshadowed, possess remarkable properties that are not exhibited by tocopherols. In particular, tocotrienols have been found to have powerful neuroprotective effects, which means they can help safeguard our precious brain cells. They were also shown in scientific investigations to exhibit anticancer properties and have been linked to cholesterol-lowering benefits, which are not shared by α-tocopherol.

What sets tocotrienols apart from tocopherols is their unique structure. The unsaturated side chain (see image below) of tocotrienols allows them to penetrate tissues more efficiently, especially those with fatty layers like the brain and liver. This enhanced penetration enables tocotrienols to have superior antioxidant properties and better distribution in the cell membrane’s fatty layers, making them even more effective.


Image tribute to: Dr. Koji Fukui. Molecular Cell Biology Laboratory, Systems Engineering and Science, Graduate School of Engineering and Science, Shibaura Institute of Technology.

So, what does all this mean for us? By including tocotrienol-rich supplements in our routine, we can harness the benefits of both tocopherols and tocotrienols. This powerful vitamin acts as an antioxidant, helping to neutralize harmful free radicals in our bodies, reducing oxidative stress, and supporting overall well-being.

Remember, it’s not just about α-tocopherol anymore. The research landscape has been changing, highlighting the unique roles of different vitamin E molecules. Embracing tocotrienols can unlock a whole new level of health benefits, from protecting our brains to fighting cancer and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Let’s embrace the power of Vitamin E, in both tocopherol and tocotrienol form, and embark on a journey towards a healthier oxidative stress-free life.

Salnova’s ingredient division offers tocopherol and tocotrienols raw materials at different concentrations, contact us for more information.