Vitamin E has powerful free radical scavenging abilities and acts as a powerful antioxidant when consumed and applied directly to the skin. Tocotrienols are one part of the vitamin E family but represent a small fraction of the vitamin E found in commonly consumed foods. The best way to get a high level of tocotrienols in the diet is to take tocotrienol supplements.
Typically, you would get a small number of different tocotrienols from sources such as vegetable oils, nuts, grains, wheat germ, and barley. In these foods, there are four types of tocotrienols, just like their tocopherol counterparts.
Research suggests that tocotrienols possess strong anti-inflammatory effects by modulating key parts of the immune system, which may also be part of the reason why it’s effective at protecting against heart disease.
It’s also been discovered from research that tocotrienols may benefit several health problems such as:
- Neurodegenerative diseases
- Hair loss
- Inflammatory skin conditions
Tocotrienols could be more effective than tocopherols for protecting against these health conditions.
Now let’s take a look at the highest-quality tocotrienol supplements available!
#1. Palm fruit tocotrienol supplement for skin, health, hair and sun protection (Vegan-friendly)
Palm oil is one of the best sources of tocotrienols you can find, so naturally, a supplement derived from palm oil would be the best way to extract this vitamin E to obtain its powerful health benefits without all those excess calories.
The supplement contains just 5 Calories and 0.5 g of fat but contains significant amounts of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene.
Altogether you’re getting 160 mg tocochromanols, which includes both types of vitamin E (tocopherol and tocotrienol) for maximum benefits.
To boost the antioxidant power of the supplement they’ve also added lycopene, which has powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer effects as well as Coenzyme Q10 which helps boost energy metabolism and mitochondrial function, which decreases with age.
How to take: It’s recommended that you consume this supplement with a least 5 grams of fat to help boost absorption of these fat-soluble vitamins and compounds to get the most from this supplement.
#2. Vitacost Vitamin E and Tocotrienol Complex supplement (Vegan-friendly)
Vitacost offers a complete package with its vitamin E complex supplement at a more affordable cost than the previous tocotrienol supplement above. It’s also pretty basic and clean, so the only thing you’re getting is vitamin E, no other nutrients or compounds.
One of the main ingredients of the supplement is rice bran oil, which of course contains vitamin E.
In this vitamin E complex supplement, you’re getting 134 mg of mixed tocopherols and 16.6 mg of tocotrienols. So the amount of tocotrienols you’re getting is just over half of the palm fruit supplement.
The great benefit of this one is that it’s more affordable, but for that, you’re getting a significantly lower dose of vitamin E.
The supplement does contain soy, so if you are allergic or are avoiding soy products, then perhaps this one isn’t for you.
How to take: Take one capsule per day with a meal for best absorption.
#3. Deva Vegan Tocotrienol supplement
Rather than providing a large amount of tocopherol vitamin E complex, they’ve gone with providing a high dose of mixed tocotrienols derived from sources such as virgin crude palm oil, using a mild molecular distillation method to extract the nutrients, which also includes phytosterols, CQ10 which are present in palm oil.
Also always, you can be 100% confident that what you buy from DEVA is suitable for both vegetarians and vegans alike.
As my third recommendation, by no means is this worse than the previous two. One reason you might want to consider this supplement over the other two is that it’s cheap and it contains mostly tocotrienols.
So if you already have plenty of tocopherols in your diet or from a supplement, then this would be a great option.
How to take: Take one capsule per day with a meal for maximum absorption.
What are tocotrienols?
Tocotrienols consist of four types: alpha, beta, gamma, and delta. Tocotrienols are unsaturated and lipophilic in nature. This means that unlike tocopherols, they are better at penetrating deep into the tissue which has dense layers of saturated fatty acids.
According to studies, alpha-tocotrienol is between 40 – 60 fold more potent than alpha-tocopherol for dealing with lipid peroxidation. So by getting more tocotrienols into your diet, you’ll be protecting the integrity of your cells from the ravaging effects of lipid peroxidation and cell death.
Two of the highest sources of tocotrienols are Palm oil (940 mg per kg) and Rice bran oil (465 mg per kg). Much smaller amounts can be found in other oils such as olive oil, flaxseed oil, grapefruit seed oil, poppy seed oil, and sunflower oil. 
Consider how much of these oils you would have to use per day in order to get the equivalent of what you can get in a supplement which provides over 100 mg of tocotrienols.
You would have to eat a ridiculous amount of calories and perhaps negate any of the beneficial effects you’d get from these tocotrienols molecules.
Benefits of taking tocotrienols supplements
There are many benefits of taking this form of Vitamin E, but here’s a quick list!
Skin benefits – Due to the ability of tocotrienols to go deeply into tissue and the skin, they are able to mop up free radicals to prevent the degradation of collagen and fats which will help you maintain a more youthful and wrinkle-free appearance. Tocotrienols also help reduce the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays from the sun.
Hair benefits – Studies have shown that men who take 100 mg a day of tocotrienols have a 34% increase in hair growth over an 8 month period compared to men who suffer from androgenetic alopecia and do not take it. So if you want thicker and fuller hair, tocotrienols might be worth taking!
Cardiovascular health benefits – Heart disease is one of the biggest killers in the world and as the population ages, the number of people affected will increase over time. Tocotrienols could be a powerful supplement to help protect against dyslipidemia (high cholesterol) and reduce the risk of age-related cardiovascular disease in men and women. 
Anti-inflammatory benefits – Tocotrienols have been found to suppress levels of highly potent pro-inflammatory cytokines and mediators which are responsible for heart disease, cancer, inflammatory skin conditions, allergies etc. Chronic low-level inflammation is also something which increases with age, and research suggests that tocotrienols may help reduce this low-level inflammation in the body.
These are just a few of the main benefits of taking vitamin E in the form of tocotrienols. And what’s great is that tocotrienols also have an amazing safety record. Studies have shown that even high doses of 1000 mg/day have been found to be safe in humans.
Tocotrienols are unique and powerful antioxidants with many potential health benefits, but cannot be obtained from the diet in sufficient amounts to have a big impact on health.
Vitamin E supplements provide an excellent and convenient way of getting either a mix of tocopherols and tocotrienols or just tocotrienols by themselves.
I recommend that you get a mix in your diet, as each provides unique benefits for health and well-being.
Reviewed and updated: March 2019.