Tocotrienol Confers Neuroprotection & Improves Exercise Endurance

Leong + Adi

Tocotrienol is a form of vitamin E. There are 2 forms of vitamin E in nature – Tocopherol and Tocotrienol. The only difference between tocopherol and tocotrienol is by the side tails of their molecular structure. Tocopherol possesses saturated side chain, while tocotrienol has 3 double bonds or unsaturated side chain, and thus known as “Unsaturated Form of vitamin E”. The unsaturated side chain of tocotrienol is believed to be the key for tocotrienol to confer unique biological activities that are not associated with tocopherols.

Tocotrienol is a fat-soluble compound and it exhibits poor absorption via oral supplementation. Therefore, the SupraBio™ system, a patented self-emulsifying delivery system is developed for tocotrienols to increase the absorption of individual tocotrienol up to 300%, which marks the second generation of tocotrienol complex. EVNol SupraBio™ has been used in many human clinical studies, for example brain health related studies that are funded by NIH (National Institute of Health) since 2000 on the protection of neuron cells from stroke/ toxic induced injury and degeneration. It begins from mechanisms to in vivo studies, and now the phase I and II of human clinical studies, conducting at the Ohio States University, Wexner Medical Center. Additionally, four large epidemiological studies found that plasma vitamin E tocotrienol is inversely associated with reduced risk of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and Alzheimer’s disease (AD).

In terms of sports nutrition, whey protein and tocotrienol both increase sports endurance. And when both tocotrienol and whey protein combine, a more potent effect was shown in which the synergistic effects of tocotrienol and whey protein show further enhancement in exercise endurance.

Popular Applications of ExcelVite’s Tocotrienol Ingredient

ExcelVite started back in 1993 and the main flagship products are palm tocotrienol (EVNolTM/ EVNol SupraBioTM) and palm mixed-carotene (EVTeneTM) extracted from virgin crude palm oil/ palm fruits. Most of the applications for tocotrienols are dietary supplements in the form of soft gelatin capsule, hard gelatin capsules and tablets. However for the last 10 years, the application has been expanded to cosmetic – both oral and topical application. For recent 2 to 3 years, due to the fact that tocotrienol is a more potent form of vitamin E or antioxidant and GRAS (GRN Notice No 307), the applications for tocotrienol have been extended to functional food and beverages such as sports drinks, functional beverages like Toco-Oat.

ExcelVite’s Actions to Address Main Issue Related to Palm and Sustainability

The main concern among consumers is regarding the sustainability of palm oil, taken up by the green organization. An important factor to consider when one talks about sustainability – the source/ location of the crude palm oil/ palm fruits (where the palm trees are planted and harvested). ExcelVite only purchases sustainable oil palm from Peninsula Malaysia where most of the croplands are more than 25 years, hence all the palm related products from ExcelVite are sustainably produced. In addition, ExcelVite is also a member of RSPO (Roundtable Sustainable Palm Oil) and ExcelVite purchases Green Palm Certification (ie: sustainable carbon trading) platform as an action to support sustainable palm oil.

 Below are some relevant references in relation to

SupraBio™ System

  1. Yap, S. P., Yuen K. H. (2004). Influence of lipolysis and droplet size on tocotrienol absorption from self-emulsifying formulations Int J Pharm.


  1. Sen C.K., (2000). Molecular basis of vitamin E action. Tocotrienol potently inhibits glutamate-induced pp60(c-Src) kinase activation and death of HT4 neuronal cells. J Biol Chem.
  2. Khanna, S., (2003). Molecular basis of vitamin E action: tocotrienol modulates 12-lipoxygenase, a key mediator of glutamate-induced neurodegeneration. J Biol Chem.
  3. Khanna, S., (2010). Nanomolar vitamin E alpha-tocotrienol inhibits glutamate-induced activation of phospholipase A2 and causes neuroprotection. J Neurochem.
  4. Khanna S., (2013). Loss of miR-29b following acute ischemic stroke contributes to neural cell death and infarct size. J Cereb Blood Flow Metab.  

Mild Cognitive Impairment & Alzheimer’s Disease

  1. Mangialasche, F. (2010).  High plasma levels of vitamin E forms and reduced Alzheimer’s disease risk in advanced age. J Alzheimers Dis.
  2. Mangialasche, F. (2012). Tocopherols and tocotrienols plasma levels are associated with cognitive impairment. Neurobiol Aging.
  3. Mangialasche, F. (2013). Classification and prediction of clinical diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease based on MRI and plasma measures of α-/γ-tocotrienols and γ-tocopherol. J Intern Med.
  4. Mangialasche, F. (2013). Serum levels of vitamin E forms and risk of cognitive impairment in a Finnish cohort of older adults. Exp Gerontol.

Sports Endurance

  1. Lee (2007). Effects of tocotrienol-rich fraction on exercise endurance capacity and oxidative stress in forced swimming rats. Eur J Appl Physiol.
  2. Betik, A., (2016). Tocotrienols and Whey Protein Isolates Substantially Increase Exercise Endurance Capacity in Diet -Induced Obese Male Sprague-Dawley Rats. PLoS One.