The cholesterol-suppressive action of the tocotrienol-rich-fraction (TRF) of palm oil may be due to the effect of its constituent tocotrienols on beta-hydroxy-beta-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase activity. The tocotrienols, modulate HMG-CoA reductase activity via a post-transcriptional mechanism. As a consequence small doses (5-200 ppm) of TRF-supplemented diets fed to experimental animals lower serum cholesterol levels. These findings led us to evaluate the safety and efficacy of large supplements of TRF and its constituents. Diets supplemented with 50, 100, 250, 500, 1000, or 2000 ppm of TRF, alpha-tocopherol, alpha-tocotrienol, gamma-tocotrienol, or 6-tocotrienol were fed to chickens for 4 wk. There were no differences between groups or within groups in weight gain, or in feed consumption at the termination of the feeding period. Supplemental TRF produced a dose-response (50-2000 ppm) lowering of serum total and LDL cholesterol levels of 22% and 52% (P < 0.05), respectively, compared with the control group. alpha-Tocopherol did not affect total or LDL-cholesterol levels. Supplemental alpha-tocotrienol within the 50-500 ppm range produced a dose-response lowering of total (17%) and LDL (33%) cholesterol levels. The more potent gamma and delta isomers yielded dose-response (50-2,000 ppm) reductions of serum total (32%) and LDL (66%) cholesterol levels. HDL cholesterol levels were minimally impacted by the tocotrienols; as a result, the HDL/LDL cholesterol ratios were markedly improved (123-150%) by the supplements. Serum triglyceride levels were significantly lower in sera of pullets receiving the higher supplements. The safe dose of various tocotrienols for human consumption might be 200-1000 mg/d based on this study.