Hadley, MA—A new study published in the British Journal of Medicine and Medical Research suggests annatto-derived vitamin E tocotrienols may support various aspects of heart health, including healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels and levels of inflammatory cytokines.

Researchers affiliated with the University of Missouri–Kansas City and the National University of Medical Science in Pakistan gave 31 individuals (ages 50–71) annatto-derived vitamin E tocotrienols (as DeltaGold from American River Nutrition, based here) for several weeks. Everyone took the annatto tocotrienols at increasing doses (0, 125, 250, 500 and 750 mg/day) and ate foods on the American Heart Association’s Step-1 diet for four weeks during the 30-week study.

Diet alone lowered lipid levels 2–3%. Increasing doses of annatto tocotrienol below 500 mg/day lowered total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and triglycerides in a dose-dependent manner; of note, taking 500 or 750 mg/day of the supplement, while deemed safe, did not lower lipid levels below baseline. Therefore, the authors believe the 250 mg/day + AHA Step-1 diet generated the best results for lipid support, with decreased total cholesterol by 15%, LDL cholesterol by 18% and triglycerides by 14%.

The study also tested the supplement’s ability to affect markers of inflammation. The authors found that the annatto tocotrienols (at 250 mg/day and under) down-regulated several biomarkers of inflammation (TNF-alpha, IL-4, IL-6, IL-8, and IL-10). Doses above 500 mg/day of annatto tocotrienol “up-regulate these biomarkers and possibly kill cancer cells,” the authors stated.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, February 2015