Diabetes mellitus is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease in both men and women, which increases the risk by 2-6 fold relative to nondiabetic subjects and that 80 percent of all type 2 Diabetes mellitus patients will die of an atherosclerotic event. In these patients hyperglycemia per se confers increased risk for cardiovascular disease, and so the presence of even borderline-high-risk LDL-C signals the need for more aggressive LDL-lowering therapy. Most of the lipid-lowering agents, currently in use in the treatment of dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetics, have a host of side effects. The tocotrienol isomers are naturally occurring analogues of tocopherol isomers (Vitamin E) found mainly in cereal grains and palm oil, and have effective lipid lowering property in addition to their potent antioxidant activity.
A recent study, conducted at the Jawaharlal Nehru Medical College, A.M.U., Aligarh, was published in the October issue of Atherosclerosis, in which the therapeutic impacts of tocotrienols on serum and lipoprotein lipid levels in type 2 diabetic patients were investigated. The effect of tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) was investigated on elevated blood glucose and glycated hemoglobin A1C in diabetic rats. A randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled design involving 19 type 2 diabetic subjects with hyperlipidemia was used. After 60 days of TRF treatment, subjects showed an average decline of 23, 30, and 42% in serum total lipids, TC, and LDL-C, respectively. The goal in type 2 diabetics is to reduce LDL-C levels ĄÜ100 mg/dl. In this study tocotrienols mediated a reduction of LDL-C from an average of 179 mg/dl to 104 mg/dl.
The study concludes that daily intake of dietary TRF by type 2 diabetics will be useful in the prevention and treatment of hyperlipidemia and atherosclerosis. In addition, therapy with TRF is both efficacious and highly cost effective.