Can rice bran oil melt away cholesterol?

veness of statin drugs. Although millions of Americans take statins and do well, they are expensive and they come with side effects. So far, scientists have not found any adverse effects of tocotrienols, says Minhajuddin, a research associate in the Department of Pediatrics.

Minhajuddin, who is from India, also has preliminary, unpublished data from a study he conducted in that country, showing that TRF reduces cholesterol in humans as well as in animals. Five healthy volunteers with total cholesterol levels in the "normal" range of 170-230 mg/dL, who ingested TRF in capsule form at a dose of 8 IU kg/day for four weeks, saw their cholesterol levels drop by 10 percent with a 26-percent decline in LDL-cholesterol levels. A case study of a 5-year-old boy in India, who had a genetic defect (familial hypercholesterolemia) that caused his total cholesterol to climb to 440 mg/dL, resulted in a 20-percent decline after about two months of tocotrienol supplements. The boy's cholesterol did rise again, however, after 100 weeks of TRF supplements.

In addition, Minhajuddin and colleagues previously showed in animals that TRF reacts with liver enzymes in such a way that it clears toxic substances from the organ, and reduces or stabilizes liver tumors. The group concluded that long-term use of tocotrienol might reduce overall cancer risk, according to published research last year in the European Journal of Cancer Prevention. Currently, Minhajuddin's research group is using a scientific model to study infection and the immune system, and how to regulate the expression of a gene called ICAM-1 on the surface of endothelial cells.


Contact: Leslie Orr
University of Rochester Medical Center

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