We have investigated the pharmacokinetics and bioavailability of alpha-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienols under fed and fasted conditions in eight healthy volunteers. The volunteers were administered a single oral dose of mixed tocotrienols (300 mg) under fed or fasted conditions. The bioavailability of tocotrienols under the two conditions was compared using the parameters peak plasma concentration (Cmax), time to reach peak plasma concentration (Tmax) and total area under the plasma concentration-time curve (AUC(o-infinity)). A statistically significant difference was observed between the fed and fasted logarithmic transformed values of Cmax (P < 0.01) and AUC(0-infinity) (P < 0.01) for all three tocotrienols. In addition, the 90% confidence intervals for the ratio of the logarithmic transformed AUC(0-infinity) values of alpha-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienols under the fed state over those of the fasted state were found to lie between 2.24-3.40, 2.05-4.09 and 1.59-3.81, respectively, while those of the Cmax were between 2.28-4.39, 2.31-5.87 and 1.52-4.05, respectively. However, no statistically significant difference was observed between the fed and fasted Tmax values of the three homologues. The mean apparent elimination half-life (t(1/2)) of alpha-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienols was estimated to be 4.4, 4.3 and 2.3 h, respectively, being between 4.5- to 8.7-fold shorter than that reported for alpha-tocopherol. No statistically significant difference was observed between the fed and fasted t(1/2) values. The mean apparent volume of distribution (Vd/f) values under the fed state were significantly smaller than those of the fasted state, which could be attributed to increased absorption of the tocotrienols in the fed state.