New research shows that vitamin E from palm oil may save brain cells in the event of a stroke. The study, conducted by Professor Yuen Kah Hay of Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) found that 200mg of palm tocotrienols taken twice daily can improve chances of recovery following a stroke.
Yuen began clinical trials after an American study showed that palm tocotrienols had the potential to protect brain cells.
According to the lead researcher Professor Yuen, “the evidence we have suggests that if people take it [palm tocotrienols] as a neuroprotective supplement, it can prevent brain cells from dying in the event of a stroke, and stimulate the reconstruction of blood vessels after.”
Tocotrienols are a key member of the vitamin E family. Palm fruit oil is the richest source of tocotrienols currently known.
The study involved 200 human volunteers with white matter lesions (WML) or oxygen-starved brain cells observed over two years.
Professor Yuen commented that “the promising evidence in this human clinical trial and with the abundance of palm oil in our country, it is likely that palm tocotrienols will become a national treasure to Malaysians.”
Forms of vitamin E such as tocotrienols may also help protect the brain from damage mediated by free radicals which have been linked to Alzheimer’s and dementia. According to Professor Patrizia Mecocci, professor of Gerontology and Geriatrics at the Department of Clinical and Experimental Medicine at the University of Perugia in Italy, vitamin E can neutralise free radicles and may “be relevant in preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s in individuals with MCI [mild cognitive impairment].”