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Tocotrienols are a group of compounds in the same family as vitamin E. They have been used to ease swelling in the body and as an antioxidant to help slow damage to cells. They have also been used to prevent scarring.

Tocotrienols are found in many food products such as vegetable oils and oats. It can also be taken as a pill. Tocotrienols can also be applied to the skin as an oil.


200 milligrams 1 to 3 times daily

What Research Shows

May Be Effective

  • Brain white matter lesions —may help prevent further growth A1
  • Kidney disease —may improve lipid profile of people on hemodialysis E1
  • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) —may help improve liver function F1, F2

May Not Be Effective

  • Breast cancer —may not increase survival when used with standard care B1
  • High Cholesterol —may not lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease D1
  • Surgical scars —may not improve scarring G1

Not Enough Data to Assess

  • Diabetes C1

Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.

Safety Notes

It is likely safe to use tocotrienols on the skin and to take them orally in small doses for a short time. Not enough studies have been done to say whether they are safe to use for a long period. It is also not known whether it is safe to take by women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Talk to your doctor about any supplements or therapy you would like to use. Some can interfere with treatment or make conditions worse.



A. Brain white matter

A1. Gopalan Y, Shuaib IL, et al. Clinical investigation of the protective effects of palm vitamin E tocotrienols on brain white matter. Stroke. 2014;1422-1428.

B. Breast Cancer

B1. Nesaretnam K, Selvaduray KR, et al. Effectiveness of tocotrienol-rich fraction combined with tamoxifen in the management of women with early breast cancer: a pilot clinical trial. Breast Cancer Res. 2010;12(5):R81.

C. Diabetes

C1. Baliarsingh S, Beg ZH, et al. The therapeutic impacts of tocotrienols in type 2 diabetic patients with hyperlipidemia. Atherosclerosis. 2005 Oct;182(2):367-374.

D. High Cholesterol

D1. Mustad VA, Smith CA, et al. Supplementation with 3 compositionally different tocotrienol supplements does not improve cardiovascular disease risk factors in men and women with hypercholesterolemia. Am J Clin Nutr. 2002 Dec;76(6):1237-1243.

E. Kidney Disease

E1. Daud ZA, Tubie B, et al. Vitamin E tocotrienol supplementation improves lipid profiles in chronic hemodialysis patients. Vasc Health Risk Manag. 2013;9:747-761.

F. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

F1. Magosso E, Ansari MA, et al. Tocotrienols for normalization of hepatic echogenic response in nonalcoholic fatty liver: a randomised placebo-controlled clinical trial. Nutr J. 2013;12(1):166.

F2. Pervez MA, Khan DA, et al. Effects of Delta-tocotrienol Supplementation on Liver Enzymes, Inflammation, Oxidative stress and Hepatic Steatosis in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. Turk J Gastroenterol. 2018;29(2):170-176.

G. Surgical Scars

G1. Khoo TL, Halim AS, et al. A prospective, randomised, double-blinded trial to study the efficacy of topical tocotrienol in the prevention of hypertrophic scars. J Plast Reconstr Aesthet Surg. 2011 Jun;64(6):e137-145.

Last reviewed July 2019 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC  Last Updated: 3/27/2020