Posted on Oct 01, 2019, 2 p.m.
* 10/2/2019: edited to include " ... rich vitamin E from palm oil ..."
Those with diabetes are at risk for several health complications including muscle atrophy. A recent study from Texas Tech University published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry suggests that taking tocotrienols may help increase skeletal muscle weight and prevent muscle atrophy.
Investigating tocotrienols derived from the red-orange annatto tropical fruit the team examined the effects of supplementing annatto tocotrienols with green tea polyphenols in mice with chronic disease. The animals were divided into four groups: 1) those supplemented with green tea, 2) those supplemented with tocotrienols, 3) those supplemented with both, and 4) a control group. The animals were fed a high fat diet to induce obesity in order to study the effects of the supplements in obesity, and the treatments were given daily for 14 weeks.
Treatments were observed to show some synergists effects in the groups that received both green tea polyphenols and tocotrienols, and a counteracting effect was found. Tocotrienol supplementation caused citrate synthase, but when combined with green tea the effect was negated.
The team suggests these tocotrienols and polyphenols together have therapeutic potential to protect against muscle atrophy which is common among those with insulin resistance and high blood sugar.
Another study published in the journal Nutrients found tocotrienol rich vitamin E from palm oil to help improve kidney health in those with diabetes, which is important as nephropathy is a common complication of the disease. For the study 45 type 2 diabetic patients between the ages of 18-80 received either a placebo or 400mg of tocotrienols twice a day for 8 weeks. Treatment significantly reduced creatinine levels, suggesting supplementation improved diabetes induced kidney damage.
Tocotrienols derived from annatto may also help to improve bone health and regulate blood sugar levels in those with diabetes. Diabetic rats supplemented with tocotrienols experienced normalized conditions for anabolism and bone mineral density associated with diabetes, which worked by regulating inflammatory responses and hormone levels.
In another study when metformin was compared to tocotrienol higher doses of tocotrienol derived from annatto was found to be more effective than metformin in increasing bone density and trabecular volume, along with reducing bone resorption and trabecular separation; lower tocotrienol doses were found to be just as effective as metformin in improving bone health.
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