KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 1 - It has long been known that Vitamin E has healthbenefits. But the secrets of Vitamin E go deeper than that, according toresearcher Prof Chandan K. Sen .
At a media briefing today, he explained that the Vitamin E now availablewas mostly made from one half of its compounds called tocopherols.
Recently, however, Sen discovered that the other half, calledtocotrienols, extracted from palm oil, could maintain and protect majororgans much better.
"There are eight forms of Vitamin E and all are equally good at protectingthe brain," Sen explained today. "However, a side-by-side study of theeight compounds showed that tocotrienol was more effective." Sen, whoseareas of expertise include molecular medicine with a focus onantioxidants, said his latest research showed that tocotrienols werereadily absorbed by major organs such as the brain, heart, lungs and skin.
Sen, who is also research director at the Centre for Minimally InvasiveSurgery at the Ohio State University Medical Centre, said the brainrequired antioxidant protection more than other organs due especially toneurological disorders.
"This finding means that brain cell destruction by glutamate, which leadsto stroke and other neurological impairment such as Alzheimer's andParkinson's, can be prevented.
"In some cases, the cell life of affected cells can be prolonged,resulting in protection against neurological diseases and in some casesimprovement and partial recovery," he said.
Tocotrienols are found in trace amounts in oats, barley, rye and wheat, hesaid. However, consumption of these foods for their tocotrienol benefitsmay not be enough, he added.
He also disputed research findings that claimed tocotrienol in capsuleform would not be absorbed in the brain.
"We have studied such papers and I am convinced that if the conditions areright, tocotrienol can be well absorbed."