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EAnnatto vs. other sources of Tocotrienol

The term “Vitamin E” covers eight compounds grouped into tocopherols and tocotrienols, each with different chemistries and biological effects. Tocotrienols have a shorter molecular tail, allowing them to move more freely through the cell membranes.


In 1996, the cholesterol-lowering properties of tocotrienol were found to be compromised by one of its very own vitamin E siblings, alpha-tocopherol. The researchers concluded that effective tocotrienol preparations should contain less than 15% of alpha-tocopherol and more than 60% of desmethyl tocotrienols (gamma- and delta-tocotrienol). The only natural source of tocotrienols that fits this prerequisite is annatto, which is essentially tocopherol free and contains only the most potent delta- and gamma-tocotrienols (90% and 10%, respectively).
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