Gamma-Tocotrienol From Palm Oil May Slow Obesity

New research shows gamma-tocotrienol from red palm oil accumulates in the adipose tissue and can help slow down high-fat diet-induced obesity, as well as improve insulin sensitivity in mice by inhibiting adipose inflammation.

EDISON, N.J.—New research shows gamma-tocotrienol from red palm oil accumulates in the adipose tissue and can help slow down high-fat diet-induced obesity, as well as improve insulin sensitivity in mice by inhibiting adipose inflammation. (International Journal of Obesity. July 2014; Online.)

In the study, SK Chung and her team investigated the effects of gamma-tocotrienol (from Carotech Inc.) on early onset obesity, inflammation, and insulin resistance in mice. The mice were randomly assigned to three different diet groups, namely low fat (LF), high fat (HF) with 60 percent of calories from fat, or HF mixed with 0.05 percent gamma-tocotrienol. Measurements of gamma-tocotrienol concentrations in blood and adipose tissue, effects of gamma-tocotrienol on body weight gain, adipose volume, fasting blood glucose, insulin level and various inflammatory biomarkers were recorded.

Results showed that after four weeks of supplementation, gamma-tocotrienol significantly accumulated in adipose tissue and decreased HF diet-induced weight gain. In addition, gamma-tocotrienol improved glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity; reduced inflammation in adipose tissue and at systemic levels; and lastly, decreased macrophage M1 activation.

In her previous study, Chung showed that low concentration (one microMolar) of gamma-tocotrienol inhibits adipogenesis in primary human adipose-derived stem cells via activation of AMP kinase and autophagy.

“Obesity has become one of the most alarming and costly problems of this century, it is associated with metabolic syndrome, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes," said Bryan See, regional product manager, Carotech Inc. “The CDC (Center for Disease Control) estimates that about 79 million adults and 13 million children aged 2 to 19 years in the U.S. are obese. As such, controlling the rate of obesity will lead to reduced risks of people contracting these health conditions."

When red palm oil was touted as the biggest nutritional find for 2013 on The Dr. Oz Show last year, demand for the oil skyrocketed due to the unique benefits offered by carotenoids and tocotrienols naturally found in red palm oil, which protect the heart, brain and skin.

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