Tocotrienols: A new way to combat cancer

tocotrienols(NaturalHealth365) With the recent discovery by scientists that two natural substances can target and remove aging and “senile” cells, the battle against cancer is moving in promising new directions. Research has confirmed that the combination of quercetin and a form of vitamin E – called tocotrienols – works to rid the body of the aging cells that are a major cause of chronic inflammation and disease – while simultaneously promoting the health and growth of normal cells.

Triggering cellular senescence could be a cancer breakthrough

When “old” cells stop dividing, they stop creating new cells. These obsolete cells also lose the ability to die off, a condition called cellular senescence. Senescent cells then accumulate in the body, emitting pro-inflammatory chemicals – promoting aging and increasing cancer risk.

However, there is a scenario in which cellular senescence is desirable. Triggering senescence in malignant cancer cells not only stops their uncontrolled replication, but causes them to die. By clearing away senile cells and inducing aging in malignant cells, quercetin and tocotrienols could stop tumors from growing.

In other words: manipulating cellular senescence so that it affects tumors could be the key to fighting cancer.

What are tocotrienols?

Tocotrienols are a form of natural vitamin E found in wheat germ, barley and some grains and nuts. They are anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering, and even offer protection against radiation.

Most research has focused on the better-known tocopherol form of vitamin E, so researchers are just beginning to discover the potential of tocotrienols, and to credit them with anti-aging effects. Recent research has focused on gamma-tocotrienol, one of the four forms of tocotrienols.

Studies have shown gamma-tocotrienol selectively targets cancer cells, triggering cellular senescence and promoting apoptosis – a type of programmed cell suicide. At the same time, tocotrienol greatly benefits normal, healthy cells, slowing aging, promoting normal cell division and preventing them from developing senescence.

Tocotrienol’s beneficial effects seem to be strengthened when it’s combined with quercetin, a flavonoid and powerful antioxidant that helps plants fight off infection. Researchers classify both tocotrienol and quercetin as sinolytics – meaning they can slow aging and prolong life.

Research confirms tocotrienol’s anti-cancer effects

A cell study published in Biofactors demonstrated that tocotrienol can stop tumors from spreading. This finding was reinforced by an animal study, in which tocotrienol inhibited tumor growth in mice that had been injected with human liver cancer cells. Other research confirmed tocotrienol’s protective effects on normal cells, with researchers reporting that the vitamin reversed cell cycle arrest and reduced DNA damage.

In a study published this year in Current Drug Targets, a combination of tocotrienols and quercetin induced senescence and promoted apoptosis in many different types of cancer cells, while delaying senescence in healthy cells and rejuvenating formerly healthy senescent cells. Calling quercetin and tocotrienols “promising natural compounds” researchers noted that they appear to satisfy all requirements for developing senescence-targeted health-prompting nutraceuticals.

How can I take tocotrienol and quercetin for protection against cancer?

Although abundant animal and cell studies indicate the strong anti-cancer effects of these two compounds, researchers have called for more clinical studies to be performed in order to discover the most effective ways of using them.
The current recommended dose of quercetin is 500 to 800 mg a day for three months to rid the body of senile cells, followed by a maintenance program of 150 mg a day.

Benefits have been seen with dosages of tocotrienol ranging from 40 to 400 mg a day. For chemopreventive effects, experts recommend 150 mg of tocotrienol a day for 90 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg a day.

Although quercetin and tocotrienol are considered generally safe, they can interact with some medications. As always, consult your doctor before supplementing with them.

Bottom line: This innovative combination of compounds could well prove to be the breakthrough in cancer prevention and treatment that scientists have been searching for, combating this life-threatening disease effectively, safely and naturally.

References:

http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2016/10/Natural-Compounds-that-Remove-Aging-Cells/Page-01
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26343116
http://www.tocotrienolresearch.org/category/scientific_research/antioxidation_and_anti_ageing/page/4
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26948691
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24722367

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  • Kate Fabiano

    Wheat germ was a staple when I was growing up. We put it on cereal and used it alone as a cereal. Barley soups were a favorite on cold nights. There is no mystery why people aren’t preventing some of the worst conditions. All you have to look at their diet of refined foods.

  • Lloyd

    Whole foods have a new component, which makes a world of difference. We now have insight from research, which shows their remarkable ability to prevent and heal many illnesses. It really is simple and smart to start on a diet of whole foods.

  • Eric Sharp

    I don’t think I will ask a doctor for any nutritional advice. After seeing what they tell my neighbors, my best bet would be to eat foods with high amounts of these nutrients.

    Anytime, anyone I know has asked the doctor about a supplement they either said it isn’t necessary or stop all supplements. All you need is a multi-vitamin and that is up to you to take.

    My own doctor said it is best to stop taking any, as they do nothing and can interfere with the drugs I am on. Of course this was just a guess on his part he didn’t quote any research papers.

  • Bruce Douglas

    Once more a very good article. I think most people intuitively know our medical system is sick. The real problem is they don’t know how to fix it. I think the only choice is to avoid it by staying healthy. Our focus should be on what we can do for ourselves, rather what the doctor can do for us.

  • Mike Ryson

    When the doctor thinks he pinpointed a condition through numerous tests he starts me on a drug regiment, which I regret a little while later. What I find is the doctor can’t forecast the future. He plays around with the dosage until you get results with or without side effects.

    How much easier and safer to initiate a lifestyle change by including all the foods listed in this article. Then slowly add low doses of some of the nutrients you may not be getting enough of.

  • Rhonda Straton

    If you are looking for a medical solution and depend solely on that you going to miss out. Health is a journey and it doesn’t come from a magical pill. The ultimate supplier of your health comes from you. Making the right choices is unparalleled reliable.

    I have seen this play out more times then I can count. Those of my friends and family that made healthy lifestyle choices have remained healthy and made it to a very advance age in good health. Those that had not taken care of themselves didn’t do nearly as well.

  • Christine Krone

    When consumers are conscious of alternatives to standard medical practices they will embrace these articles. Eating well is a choice. However, you need this powerful information to make an informed choice.

  • Jane Bosley

    When science calls something promising don’t hold your breath. The winning ticket for them is how does it market and what is the conversion rate. In other words where is the profit.

  • Sylvester Ford

    You just summed up the critical information we need. I am taking this into consideration and not waiting for the final word on if this. There is no doubt in my mind this will be a good tool along with other nutriceuticals to treat and reverse this disease.

  • Ron Garcia

    I happen to incorporate wheat germ and barley into my meal plan. I don’t know when science catches up to common sense, but it seems to take too long.

  • Adrienne Franco

    I make barley bread and use barley flour for lots of my baking. Now, I will add some nuts to the mix and make it even better for my family.

  • Ty Shlackman

    Avoid wheat and other gluten containing grains because they feed pathogens. Red palm oil and rice bran are supposed to be the richest known sources of tocotrienols.