The therapeutic impacts of tocotrienols in type 2 diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia

Atherosclerosis. 2005 Oct;182(2):367-74. doi: 10.1016/j.atherosclerosis.2005.02.020. Epub 2005 Apr 20.


In type 2 diabetics, the progression of atherosclerosis is more rapid than the general population and 80% of these patients will die of an atherosclerotic event. Since in these patients hyperglycemia per se confers increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD), the presence of even borderline-high-risk LDL-C signals the need for more aggressive LDL-lowering therapy. Most of the lipid lowering agents, currently in use in the treatment of dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetics, have a host of side effects. In contrast, dietary tocotrienols are Vitamin E and have effective lipid lowering property in addition to their potent antioxidant activity. In this study, we have investigated the therapeutic impacts of tocotrienols on serum and lipoprotein lipid levels in type 2 diabetic patients. Based on known tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF)-mediated decrease on elevated blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin A(1C) (HbA(1C)) in diabetic rats, we have also investigated the effect of TRF on these parameters. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled design involving 19 type 2 diabetic subjects with hyperlipidemia was used. After 60 days of TRF treatment, subjects showed an average decline of 23, 30, and 42% in serum total lipids, TC, and LDL-C, respectively. The goal in type 2 diabetics is to reduce LDL-C levels < or = 100mg/dl. In the present investigation tocotrienols mediated a reduction of LDL-C from an average of 179 mg/dl to 104 mg/dl. However, hypoglycemic effect of TRF was not observed in these patients because they were glycemically stable and their glucose and HbA(1) levels were close to normal values. In conclusion, daily intake of dietary TRF by type 2 diabetics will be useful in the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia and atherogenesis.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Atherosclerosis / complications
  • Atherosclerosis / prevention & control*
  • Blood Glucose / drug effects
  • Blood Pressure / drug effects
  • Cholesterol / blood
  • Creatinine / blood
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / complications
  • Diabetes Mellitus, Type 2 / drug therapy*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Hyperlipidemias / complications
  • Hyperlipidemias / prevention & control*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Placebos
  • Tocotrienols / administration & dosage*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vitamins / administration & dosage*


  • Blood Glucose
  • Glycated Hemoglobin A
  • Placebos
  • Tocotrienols
  • Vitamins
  • Cholesterol
  • Creatinine