Tocotrienol for diabetic kidney disease: Excelvite partnering with brands to target practitioners, pharmacy channels

By Tingmin Koe contact

- Last updated on GMT

Excelvite is working with supplement brands to promote the use of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E to pharmacists and doctors treating patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD).  ©Getty Images
Excelvite is working with supplement brands to promote the use of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E to pharmacists and doctors treating patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD). ©Getty Images

Related tags: Malaysia, Palm oil, Diabetes

Malaysian tocotrienol supplier Excelvite is working with supplement brands to promote the use of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E to pharmacists and doctors treating patients with diabetic kidney disease (DKD), on the back of new clinical findings.

Its latest study, published in Nutrients, ​showed that taking two 200mg capsules of ENVol Suprabio – the company’s trademarked tocotrienol-rich vitamin E – each day for 12 months could slow down the progression of DKD.

The supplementation also improved renal function, as seen in a significant reduction in serum creatine level and an increase in the estimated Glomerular Filtration Rate (eGFR).

Speaking to NutraIngredients-Asia, ​business development manager Bryan See said that with increasing evidence, EVNol Suprabio had been incorporated in finished products marketed at the DKD patients.

As such, specialist doctors/endocrinologists have become the key channels for promoting the supplements, See said.

An example is Malaysian firm Hovid Pharmaceuticals, which has been selling the product Tocovid SupraBio, which contains EVNol Suprabio, to doctors and pharmacies for DKD patients’ use.

However, See pointed that no health claim has been made on the product, as the country’s Ministry of Health has not yet approved any health claims for tocotrienols.

In this case, scientific evidence of the product is presented to the physicians for them to understand the benefits of the product.

Similarly, in the US, supplements containing the ingredient is sold to health practitioners for them to address diabetic complications in patients.

An example is Allergy Research Group’s Tocomin SupraBio Tocotrienols softgel capsule product.

Again, no health claim is permitted. See said that a way to communicate the scientific evidence was through webinars.

Elsewhere in Canada, health claims on tocotrienol can be made and the company has been assisting a client in submitting clinical studies for dossier application, See said.

Once the authority, Health Canada, has decided that the product is safe, effective, and of high quality, a product license and a Natural Product Number (NPN) would be issued, which is also required to appear on the product label.

Dose-dependent studies

Excelvite is also studying if EVNol Suprabio has dose-dependent effects on DKD patients, following its three published human studies.

Its first two-month study​ showed that the ingredient could speed up nerve transmission and raise serum level of the nerve growth factor (NGF).

Another three-month study​ showed it has improved renal function of diabetic patients with damaged kidney, with results persisting after a nine-month washout period.

See said the following step was to find out if the benefits of the ingredient were dose dependent.

This would allow the firm to find out the optimal amount of tocotrienol-rich vitamin E required. Brands can also benefit commercially if a lower dose is required to achieve the same health results.

Future studies would also explore if the tocotrienol-rich vitamin E could produce a synergistic effect when combined with other ingredients.

“We are taking baby steps [in our research endeavours]. Given the current COVID-19 pandemic, we hope to start the trial by the end of this year,”​ See said.

Other benefits

Aside from DKD, the ingredient also has benefits for brain, skin, heart, and liver health, See said.

A human clinical study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2012 ​found that the EVNol SupraBio tocotrienols were absorbed and deposited at the brain, liver, heart, skin​ and fat tissues.

See explained that this meant that the ingredient was proven to be bio-efficient, since it could be transported to a specific organ.

“Unlike bioavailability, bio-efficiency is still a new area, but it is important because it shows how efficient a compound could be transported to a specific organ,”​ he said.

He added that the ingredient has improved bioavailability by 250%, while human clinical studies have proven its bioefficacy.

The three largest markets where supplements containing EVnol Suprabio are sold are North America, Europe, and Japan, See said, adding that companies use the ingredient for various health benefits, depending on the needs of their target audience. 

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