Study: Tocotrienols May Help Reduce Bone Loss, Oxidative Stress in Postmenopausal Women

Hadley, MA—Supplementation with annatto tocotrienol can help reduce bone loss in postmenopausal women, according to a new study published in Frontiers in Nutrition.

The study was conducted by researchers at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, in collaboration with the University of California, Davis, and Georgia State University. It used the patented DeltaGold annatto-derived tocotrienol ingredient by American River Nutrition.

Explaining the reason for the study, the researchers explained that in postmenopausal women, the rate of bone loss increases dramatically due to estrogen deficiency, which has also been linked to increased oxidative stress. Previous studies have found that 12 weeks of tocotrienol supplementation decreased bone resorption and improved bone turnover rate in postmenopausal women with estrogen deficiency. This study is intended to investigate the metabolic differences between postmenopausal women with low bone mass at baseline and after 12 weeks of supplementation.

The randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled clinical trial had 87 participants, all of whom were postmenopausal and osteopenic. The participants were assigned to one of three treatments: placebo (860mg/day olive oil), 300mg/day tocotrienols, and 600mg/day tocotrienols. From the placebo group and 600mg group, 20 participants per group were randomly selected to complete a metabolomics analysis at baseline and at 12 weeks—metabolomics profiling is a systematic screening approach for evaluating the metabolic response to nutritional interventions, with the primary goal of correlating changes in biochemical profile with a corresponding shift in physiology due to a nutritional change.

Over the course of 12 weeks, annatto tocotrienol supplementation resulted in significant metabolic changes, including modification of metabolites associated with the redox environment. Tocotrienol also increased antioxidants including glutathione and balanced hormones. Further, it improved phospholipids in favor of long-chain fatty acids, which is important for cellular membrane health.

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The researchers, led by Dr. Leslie Shen at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, noted that “the present study supports our previous findings that [tocotrienol] supplementation helps reduce bone loss in postmenopausal osteopenic women by suppressing inflammation and oxidative stress.”

Commenting on the research, Dr. Barrie Tan, President of American River Nutrition, said: “This is the first time ever that annatto tocotrienol was shown to globally affect the nutritional biochemistry in the human body, rather than treating a condition as was the focus of prior studies. This is the type of study structure-function claims are built upon, a Holy Grail in the dietary supplement industry that’s nearly impossible to reach. Annatto tocotrienol resets the body’s nutritional metabolism and redirects endogenous nutrient biochemistry. This first-of-a-kind study shows an unambiguous nutritional benefit of tocotrienol to everyone, especially for adults and postmenopausal women.”