Tocotrienols Induce Programmed Cell Death in Breast Cancer Cells
Posted Feb 19 2010 6:44am
Most of us think of Vitamin E as a single chemical, but in reality Vitamin E consists of 8 naturally occurring compounds: 4 tocopherols and 4 tocotrienols. Vitamin E has been reported to have a variety of health benefits; however, the clinical research on many of these potential health benefits has been inconsistent, making it difficult to draw any solid conclusions or recommendations. One potential reason for this inconsistency in the research might be the fact that the different compounds that make up Vitamin E have different biological actions. Research into the tocotrienols has only taken off in the last few years, but it has been suggested that at least some of the health benefits of Vitamin E might be due to their tocotrienol content.
New tocotrienol research suggests that delta-tocotrienol might have some breast cancer fighting benefits. In this new study, investigators explored the effects of delta-tocotrienols on breast cancer cells in culture and in breast cancer cells implanted into mice. In the cell culture system, delta-tocotrienol blocked cell growth and caused programmed cell death by regulating cell chemicals involved in these steps. In mice implanted with a breast cancer tumor, giving delta-tocotrienols to mice in their diet resulted in a suppression of tumor growth.
This is exciting research into the potential benefits of Vitamin E and breast cancer. While alpha-tocopherol (the most abundant component of Vitamin E) is an important antioxidant and the only form recognized to meet human nutritional requirements, evidence is mounting that the other forms of Vitamin E, including the tocotrienols, might have important health benefits. Vitamin E in the form of alpha-tocopherol is easily obtained in the diet from nuts, seeds, vegetable oils and other fruits and vegetables. The tocotrienols can generally be obtained from similar food sources, but are present in much lower levels.
In addition to Vitamin E and the tocotrienols, there are many other healthful, cancer fighting foods. To learn about my top 10 foods to fight breast cancer, read my book Fight Now: Eat & Live Proactively Against Breast Cancer at www.fightBCnow.com.