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Which Foods Contain Tocotrienols?

author image Nicki Wolf
Nicki Wolf has been writing health and human interest articles since 1986. Her work has been published at various cooking and nutrition websites. Wolf has an extensive background in medical/nutrition writing and online content development in the nonprofit arena. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Temple University.
Which Foods Contain Tocotrienols?
Oats are a source of tocotrienols. Photo Credit: Amy_Lv/iStock/Getty Images

Tocotrienols are antioxidants that are part of the vitamin E family; they provide a number of health benefits. This nutrient is not commonly found in a wide range of foods, but you can find them in some natural foods, as well as added into some processed foods. Do not consume tocotrienols in any food as a means of treating a medical condition without first speaking with your physician.

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Palm Oil

You can find tocotrienols in palm oil. This type of oil is quite high in vitamin E, although food labeling may not reflect it, according to Victor R. Preedy and Ronald Ross Watson, the authors of "The Encyclopedia of Vitamin E." Palm oil, derived from oil palm tree fruit, is used in cooking and baking. It may be used as a cooking oil or as an ingredient in commercial margarine, noodle dishes and baby and infant formulas. The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute warns against consuming palm oil as it is high in unhealthy saturated fats.

Rice Bran

The bran of rice -- the layer between the outer hull and the inner grain of white rice -- contains the majority of the food's nutrients, including a helping of tocotrienols. A study published in the October 2001 issue of "The Journal of Nutrition" investigated the tocotrienols available in rice bran and their effect on atherosclerotic plaque formation in mouse models. Research indicates that the nutrients reduced the size of atherosclerotic lesions, leading scientists to speculate rice bran may be a good option for supporting cardiovascular health.


Eat oats to increase your intake of tocotrienols. Research featured in the May 2003 issue of the "Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry" refers to oats as a "good source" of this nutrient. In fact, the tocotrienols in oats account for 57 percent of the total vitamin E, as noted in "Functional Foods: Biochemical and Processing Aspects."


In addition to the benefits on cardiovascular health offered by tocotrienols, they may also provide protection against cancer. A study published in the September 2011 issue of "Free Radical Biology and Medicine" indicates that tocotrienols stopped the growth of pancreatic cancer cells in a laboratory setting. This nutrient may also play a role in inhibiting lung cancer, according to research published in the October 2011 issue of the "Journal of Cellular Biochemistry."

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