A new study reveals that palm gamma-tocotrienol (γ-T3) retards inflammation in type 2 diabetes mouse models via inhibition of Nod-like receptor 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome (an intracellular sensor that detects imbalanced intake of nutrient such as excessive fats or glucose).

In this study, 6-week old of male (db/db) mice were fed a standard AIN93G diet devoid of γ-T3  (control) or AIN93G diet containing 0.1% (w/w) γ-T3 ( supplied by ExcelVite, Inc) for 8 weeks ad libitum.

When comparing to mice not fed with γ-T3, γ-T3-supplemented mice suppressed NLRP3-inflammasome activity by decreasing NLRP3 protein expression and caspase-1 cleavage. Additionally, γ-T3-supplemented mice showed a significant decrease in fasting glucose levels, improved glucose disposal during glucose tolerance test (GTT), significantly high insulin-positive area per pancreatic islet cells (insulin producing cells), and low level of immune cell infiltration into white adipose tissues, suggesting attenuation of type 2 diabetes progression.

Inflammation is critical to the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes while imbalanced intake of nutrient may induce pro-inflammatory cytokines such as NF-κB that could lead to the death of insulin-producing cells. This study has demonstrated 2 identified mechanisms exhibited by γ-T3 in decreasing NLRP3 inflammasome activities.

First, γ-T3 deactivates NF-κB (nuclear factor-κB, a pro-inflammatory mediator) by increasing the expression of A20 (protein that attenuates inflammatory process). Secondly, the presence of γ-T3, together with AMPK (5′ AMP-activated protein kinase, enzyme important for cellular energy homeostasis) inhibit activities of caspase-1 (enzyme that involves in programmed cell death).

Collectively, γ-T3 helps to enhance insulin sensitivity in cells, reduces nutritional imbalance-associated inflammation, and inhibits the formation of pro-inflammatory mediators with AMPK, thereby decreasing the risks of developing type 2 diabetes.

This is the first study to demonstrate that γ-T3 is able to ameliorate type 2 diabetes via the suppression of NLRP3 inflammasome. According to the World Health Organization, the prevalence of diabetes was estimated to be 9 % among adults above 18 years. In other words, almost 1 out of 10 adults worldwide is diagnosed with diabetes! One effective way to reduce the risks of developing type 2 diabetes is to increase the intake of tocotrienol. As the level of tocotrienols in Western food is only at trace level, it is highly recommended to incorporate palm oil as the main cooking oil or consume tocotrienol dietary supplements to increase their daily dietary intake of tocotrienol,” says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist of ExcelVite. “Alternatively, one can take EVNol SupraBio™, a branded Tocotrienol Supplement – to ensure a consistent level of tocotrienol in the body,” added Lau.

EVNol™ is a true full spectrum of tocotrienol complex (α-, β-, γ- and δ-tocotrienol) from red palm fruit oil, extracted through a mild molecular distillation process. This patented molecular distillation process minimizes losses while preserving the naturalness and maximum levels of tocotrienols. With γ-tocotrienol as the highest concentration among all tocotrienol isoforms in EVNol™, EVNol™ would help in mitigating the progression of type 2 diabetes. Apart from this, the natural full spectrum tocotrienol in EVNol™, coupled with unique level of other phytonutrients such as squalene, phytosterols, mixed carotene and CoQ10 confer additional synergistic protective effects against oxidative stress or other diseases,” – ExcelVite.


Kim, Y.et.al (2016). Suppression of NLRP3 inflammasome by gamma-tocotrienol ameliorates type 2 diabetes. J. Lipid Res; 57(1);66-76.doi: 10.1194/jlr.M062828.

Disclaimer: The statements in the above article have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.