Background: Vitamin E supplements containing tocotrienols are now being recommended for optimum health but its effects are scarcely known. The objective was to determine the effects of Tocotrienol Rich Fraction (TRF) supplementation on lipid profile and oxidative status in healthy older individuals at a dose of 160 mg/day for 6 months.
Methods: Sixty-two subjects were recruited from two age groups: 35-49 years (n = 31) and above 50 years (n = 31), and randomly assigned to receive either TRF or placebo capsules for six months. Blood samples were obtained at 0, 3rd and 6th months.
Results: HDL-cholesterol in the TRF-supplemented group was elevated after 6 months (p < 0.01). Protein carbonyl contents were markedly decreased (p < 0.001), whereas AGE levels were lowered in the > 50 year-old group (p < 0.05). Plasma levels of total vitamin E particularly tocopherols were significantly increased in the TRF-supplemented group after 3 months (p < 0.01). Plasma total tocotrienols were only increased in the > 50 year-old group after receiving 6 months of TRF supplementation. Changes in enzyme activities were only observed in the > 50 year-old group. SOD activity was decreased after 3 (p < 0.05) and 6 (p < 0.05) months of TRF supplementation whereas CAT activity was decreased after 3 (p < 0.01) and 6 (p < 0.05) months in the placebo group. GPx activity was increased at 6 months for both treatment and placebo groups (p < 0.05).
Conclusion: The observed improvement of plasma cholesterol, AGE and antioxidant vitamin levels as well as the reduced protein damage may indicate a restoration of redox balance after TRF supplementation, particularly in individuals over 50 years of age.