Potential Role of Tocotrienols on Non-Communicable Diseases: A Review of Current Evidence

Nutrients. 2020 Jan 19;12(1):259. doi: 10.3390/nu12010259.


Tocotrienol (T3) is a subfamily of vitamin E known for its wide array of medicinal properties. This review aimed to summarize the health benefits of T3, particularly in prevention or treatment of non-communicable diseases (NCDs), including cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, metabolic, gastric, and skin disorders, as well as cancers. Studies showed that T3 could prevent various NCDs, by suppressing 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-coenzyme A reductase (HMGCR) in the mevalonate pathway, inflammatory response, oxidative stress, and alternating hormones. The efficacy of T3 in preventing/treating these NCDs is similar or greater compared to tocopherol (TF). TF may lower the efficacy of T3 because the efficacy of the combination of TF and T3 was lower than T3 alone in some studies. Data investigating the effects of T3 on osteoporosis, arthritis, and peptic ulcers in human are limited. The positive outcomes of T3 treatment obtained from the preclinical studies warrant further validation from clinical trials.

Keywords: cancer; metabolic syndrome; musculoskeletal disease; osteoporosis; peptic ulcer; vitamin E.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Dietary Supplements* / adverse effects
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Noncommunicable Diseases / epidemiology
  • Noncommunicable Diseases / prevention & control*
  • Protective Factors
  • Risk Factors
  • Tocotrienols / adverse effects
  • Tocotrienols / pharmacokinetics
  • Tocotrienols / therapeutic use*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • Tocotrienols