We don't usually associate Vitamin E, or its analogues, with bone health. But we should, as this study clearly indicates.
Bone mass naturally thins with age, a condition called osteopenia, but drug treatments to slow bone loss have serious side effects. In this first study to test tocotrienol in osteopenia, 87 postmenopausal women with the condition took 400 IU of vitamin D plus 500 mg of calcium per day, along with a placebo, 270 mg of delta tocotrienol plus 30 mg of gamma tocotrienol, or double the tocotrienols dose, per day.
After 12 weeks, while the placebo group had not changed, those taking either dose of tocotrienols saw a 100 percent increase in the ratio of a primary bone-forming biomarker to a bone-breakdown biomarker. Another ratio of bone breakdown to formation improved 18 percent for tocotrienol while deteriorating 28 percent for placebo.
Discussing the findings from this first-of-its-kind clinical trial, doctors said, unlike vitamin D which supports calcium in bone building, tocotrienols work directly with living bone-forming and bone-breakdown cells to create a balance that favors bone build-up.
Reference: Osteoporosis International; January, 2018, Published Online
Vitamin E is an essential fat-soluble nutrient that includes two distinct chemical analogues: tocotrienols and tocopherols. Both analogues exist in four isomers: alpha-, beta-, gamma-, and delta-isomers. Tocopherols are saturated vitamin E analogues, while tocotrienols are unsaturated derivatives that possess an isoprenoid side chain. It would seem logical for those women who are concerned with bone health to consider a tocotrienol supplement, either alone or with a mixed tocopheral vitamin E.
To achieve the dosage used in the study, two products are necessary.