A groundbreaking human clinical study shows supplementation with a bioenhanced natural full spectrum palm tocotrienol complex at 400mg daily for one year improves fatty liver in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
NAFLD often coexists with metabolic syndrome especially type 2 diabetes and obesity. It is reported to be an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease and affects approximately 30 percent of the population in Western countries. Recently, the University of Hong Kong reported that a staggering 40 percent of healthy Hong Kong population have non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, with majority of them not aware of the condition.
This study, conducted at University Science Malaysia, Penang, recruited 87 untreated hypercholesterolemic adults diagnosed with NAFLD by ultrasound. Subjects were randomized into two groups. Over the study period of one year, the control group of 44 subjects and tocotrienols group of 43 subjects were given 200mg twice a day of placebo or mixed tocotrienols softgels, respectively. All subjects underwent a battery of fasting blood chemistry analyses at quarterly intervals and high sensitivity B-mode ultrasonography (USG) examinations at baseline and after one year.
A total of 64 subjects completed the study—34 from control group and 30 from tocotrienols group. Liver ultrasound showed normalized echogenic response in 15 subjects out of 30 in the tocotrienols group (50 percent). In comparison, only eight subjects out of 34 in the placebo group (23.5 percent) showed normalization. The normalisation of hepatic echogenic response was significantly higher for the tocotrienols treated group compared to the placebo group.
As secondary objective, protocol assessment also showed significant rate of remission. Worsening of NAFLD grade was recorded in two patients in the placebo group, but none in the group treated with tocotrienols. No adverse events were reported for both groups.
“In summary, the present study shows that patients assigned to tocotrienols at the current dosage, have significantly benefited in terms of normalization of the hepatic echogenic response in NAFLD compared to placebo during the 1-year treatment,” wrote the lead researcher, Dr Enrico Magosso.
Another group of researchers from the Philippines recently presented a human study (67 subjects) at the Asia Pacific Association for the Study of Liver, (June 2013, Singapore) that shows that lifestyle modification and exercise together with supplementation of 100 mg of tocotrienols for three months is nearly four times more effective in improving liver stiffness in NAFLD patients, compared to lifestyle modification and exercise alone.
While in another study, Japanese researchers reported that simultaneous intake of tocotrienols with alpha-tocopherol synergistically inhibited lipid accumulation, inflammation and fibrosis in the liver of non-alcoholic steatohepatitis rats, which further underscores the importance of tocotrienols and tocopherols in reducing the severity or risk of NAFLD.