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Designs for Health Launches New Clinically Researched Natural Vitamin E Tocotrienol Product

Designs for Health (DFH) – a leading, practitioner-channel dietary supplement company – announced today the launch of the Annatto-E™ product line, containing unique and natural vitamin E tocotrienols derived from the South American annatto plant (Bixa orellana). Backed by clinical research, DFH’s new Annatto-E™ products are available in three dosages of 75mg (with black cumin seed oil), 150mg and 300mg (in small, easy to swallow softgels).

“Annatto-E™ brings vitamin E into the 21st century”, said Neal Mercado, vice president of marketing and innovation at DFH. “Up until now, much of the research and media attention has focused on alpha-tocopherol as the most popular member of the vitamin E family, but new science is concentrating on tocotrienols and their superior health benefits unshared by tocopherols.”

Vitamin E is a family of eight separate but related molecules, including four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). While alpha-tocopherol is found in most multivitamins and enriched foods, a growing base of evidence suggests that this popular vitamin E form not only lacks efficacy but actually interferes with the function and benefits of tocotrienols. Historically, vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) has been known for its antioxidant effects, but tocotrienols have been found to be 40-60x more potent at protecting against cellular damage from harmful free radicals. This is due to their smaller and more flexible molecular structure, allowing tocotrienols – and in particular delta-tocotrienol – to be more easily incorporated into cell membranes. Annatto-E™ embodies the two most potent forms of vitamin E in delta-tocotrienol and gamma-tocotrienol and is free of alpha-tocopherol.

Tocotrienols are currently derived from three major sources: including rice, palm and annatto. Palm and rice tocotrienols contain 25-50% alpha-tocopherol, respectively, whereas annatto is essentially tocopherol-free. DFH carefully selected annatto as the most potent tocotrienol source for its Annatto-E™ products, which contains the proprietary DeltaGold® ingredient manufactured by American River Nutrition.

“DeltaGold® although derived from the most recently discovered source of tocotrienol, is backed by years of clinical and pre-clinical research,” said Dr. Barrie Tan, vitamin E expert and founder of American River Nutrition. “DFH’s efforts to make the benefits of this annatto-derived vitamin E available to the health professional community in two powerful doses is a testament to their commitment to science-based innovation.”

Supporting Science
Tocotrienols have been known for their lipid management capabilities since the 1980s, and clinical research recently confirmed DeltaGold® annatto tocotrienol’s potent effects on lipid levels, reducing triglycerides by 14%, total cholesterol by 15%, and LDL cholesterol by 18% after only 4 weeks. Inflammation, another important hallmark of heart disease, was also reduced, which was evident by a 40% drop in high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hsCRP) and other inflammatory biomarkers.

In a double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trial in postmenopausal women with osteopenia showed that annatto tocotrienols significantly benefits bone turnover after 6-12 weeks of supplementation, which was mediated in part by a remarkable 49% decrease in urine 8-hydroxy-2’-deoxyguanosine (8-OHdG), a stable and reliable oxidative stress biomarker. The study also confirmed tocotrienols to be safe when taken for 3 months at dosages up to 600mg/day.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition that has a common root in obesity and metabolic syndrome, is the 21st century epidemic affecting as many as 80M Americans. Annatto tocotrienol can help here as well, as a 2018 double-blind placebo-controlled study in NAFLD patients suggests. In the study, patients received 300mg annatto tocotrienol twice daily for three months, and experienced significant weight and BMI loss, lipid and enzyme control, and Fatty Liver Index reduction.

Furthermore, and potentially in the most exciting research to date, the Danish government is sponsoring five multi-stage human placebo controlled cancer trials using 900 mg of annatto tocotrienol dosed at 300mg, three times per day. First results of this research are expected in early 2019.

“The science behind tocotrienol and its superior benefits is strong,” said Mercado, “new research that is quickly emerging indicates that tocotrienol is an important nutrient for the maintenance of optimum health with beneficial indications for numerous modern-day complaints. It is the future for vitamin E available today.”

Efficacious Dosage
All of the clinical trials involving annatto tocotrienols to date utilized dosages between 125-600mg total tocotrienols per day which lead DFH to create a 300mg supplement so patients could easily take an efficacious dose. In addition a 150mg tocotrienol softgel is available as an antioxidant defense to lipid bio-membranes of the approximately 75 trillion cells contained in our bodies.

“The health benefits realized by annatto tocotrienol go beyond that of any other nutrient I know, it’s the one supplement I would want with me if I was stranded on a desert island! This is a change for me as after 30 years in this industry, my top desert island supplements have switched between magnesium and fish oil and now it stands firmly as annatto tocotrienol alone. A minimum of 150 mg per day is a must for every adult alive,” says Jonathan Lizotte, Designs for Health founder and board president.

Qureshi AA, Khan DA, Mahjabeen W, Qureshi N. Dose-dependent modulation of lipid parameters, cytokines, and RNA by delta-tocotrienol in hypercholesterolemic subjects restricted to AHA Step-1 diet. Brit J of Med & Med Res. 2015;6(4):351-66.
Qureshi AA, Khan DA, Mahjabeen W, Trias AM, Silswal N, Qureshi N. Impact of delta-tocotrienol on inflammatory biomarkers and oxidative stress in hypercholesterolemic subjects. Clin Exp Cardiology. 2015;6(4):1000367.
Shen CL, Yang S, Tomison MD, Romero AW, Felton CK, Mo H. Tocotrienol supplementation suppressed bone resorption and oxidative stress in postmenopausal osteopenic women: a 12-week randomized double-blinded placebo-controlled trial. Osteoporos Int. 2018. Epub 2018/01/14.
Shen CL, Wang S, Yang S, Tomison MD, Abbasi M, Hao L, et al. A 12-week evaluation of annatto tocotrienol supplementation for postmenopausal women: safety, quality of life, body composition, physical activity, and nutrient intake. BMC complementary and alternative medicine. 2018;18(1):198. Epub 2018/06/30.
Pervez MA, Khan DA, Ijaz A, Khan S. Effects of Delta-tocotrienol Supplementation on Liver Enzymes, Inflammation, Oxidative stress and Hepatic Steatosis in Patients with Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease. The Turkish journal of gastroenterology: the official journal of Turkish Society of Gastroenterology. 2018;29(2):170-6. Epub 2018/05/12.

About Designs for Health:
Family-owned Designs for Health offers high-quality dietary supplements and medical foods to healthcare professionals and their patients. Guided by its founding philosophy of "Science First," the company holds an unwavering commitment to creating research-driven formulations with meaningful quantities of therapeutic ingredients that maximize the potential for successful treatment outcomes. For nearly 30 years, Designs for Health has been many healthcare professionals' trusted source for not only product innovation, but also leadership in clinical education and practice development solutions. To learn more, visit or call 800.847.8302.

For media inquiries please contact Giselle Chollett: giselle(at), 212-693-2152.

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