Tocotrienols Kill Cancer Cells

By: Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

Researchers have demonstrated for the first time that gamma tocotrienol accumulates in cancer cells and delays tumor growth by promoting death signals to the cancer, based on new evidence from animal and cell studies1.

“These results, to our knowledge, are the first demonstration of specific accumulation of gamma-tocotrienol and delta-tocotrienol in tumors and suggest that tocotrienol accumulation is critical for the anti-tumor activities of tocotrienols,” wrote lead author Yuhei Hiura in the The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.

“Intriguingly, we found that tocotrienols were detected in tumor, but not in normal tissues,” wrote the researchers. Because tocotrienols did not activate specific components of the immune system the researchers believe that the “anti-tumor effect may be due to the direct effect of tocotrienols on tumor cells.  In conclusion, our results suggested that accumulation is critical for the anti-tumor activity of tocotrienols.”

Tocotrienols posses a unique side chain molecule that enables it to attach itself to the inside of cell membranes and exert both anti-oxidant and cell-signaling properties – in a way that plain d-alpha tocopherol vitamin E simply cannot do. This is the first study to show that tocotrienols have an affinity for cancer cells, and their accumulation within them is a powerful tool of natural defense.

Referenced Studies:
  1. ^ Tocotrienols Inhibit Tumor Growth  The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry.  Yuhei Hiura, Hirofumi Tachibana, Ryo Arakawa, Natsuki Aoyama, Masaaki Okabe, Midori Sakai, Koji Yamada.

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