Colorectal cancer is one of the leading causes of mortality and morbidity in the world. According to an article of BMRAT, in 2016 itself, around 1,400,000 new cases were registered and 700,000 deaths were caused worldwide by Colorectal Cancer! Although in the pursuit to fight colorectal cancer, several studies have been conducted on Annatto based Tocotrienol(Eannatto) which has been observed to possess anti-cancer activities. One such study, ‘Down-regulation of telomerase activity in DLD-1 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells by Tocotrienol’ was conducted in which it was observed that it was observed that Tocotrienol inhibited telomerase activity of DLD-1 human colorectal adenocarcinoma cells in time- and dose-dependent manner. Interestingly Delta-Tocotrienol was observed to exhibit the highest inhibitory activity

Why Tocotrienol?


Antioxidants, especially Tocotrienol was observed to exhibit anti-cancer activity against colon cancer cells.


Angiogenesis which is the process of formation of blood vessels in cancer cells like in your colon cancer promotes cancer cell death to a very great extent. Studies have also demonstrated that Delta-Tocotrienol hindered hypoxia-induced VEGF and IL-8 overexpression and by lowering HIF-1 alpha, thus consequently inhibiting angiogenesis in cancer cells.


Apoptosis is the programmed cell death which leads to the death of cancer cells. According to the study, Tocotrienol wasfound to induce apoptosis in colon cancer cells in vitro and in vivo by downregulating NF-kB and its regulated gene products.


Paraptosis is a type of programmed cell death distinct from apoptosis which features cytoplasmic vacuolation independent of Caspase activation and inhibition, and lack of apoptotic morphology. According to the research, it was observed that Delta-Tocotrienol induced paraptosis-like cell death in colon cancer cells

Cell Proliferation

Cell Proliferation is the process by which cancer cells copy their DNA and divide into several cancer cells during mitosis which leads to the spreading of cancer. Gamma-Tocotrienol was observed to impede the proliferation of HT-29 colon cancer cells via downregulating Bcl-12 and upregulating Bax and caspase-3.


Chemoprevention and anti-cancer activity against colon cancer have been observed in Tocotrienols.

Wnt signaling pathway

Wnt signaling pathway, a network of proteins crucial for embryogenesis but also involved in cancer was observed to be suppressed by Delta-Tocotrienols. Moreover, in vivo study, it was observed that Tocotrienols reduced the growth of human colon cancer mice xenografts via suppression of Wnt pathway.

Activation of Caspase-3

Activation of Caspase-3, by Gamma-Tocotrienols, was observed to induce colon as well as cancer cell death.

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Inflammatory bowel diseases such as Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis, have often been linked to an almost 20-fold increase in the risk of colon cancer, and Tocotrienol has been observed to inhibit excessive fibroblast expansion associated with these diseases.


Approximately, 200-900 gms/day of Tocotrienols have been used to treat cancers without any adverse effects and with satisfactory results.

Why Tocotrienol and Not Tocopherol?

Tocopherol, the enemy of Tocotrienol

Tocopherol, the enemy of Tocotrienol: Tocopherol interferes with the functioning of Tocotrienol as it attenuates brain cancer inhibition, inhibits absorption, reduces adipose storage, and compromises cholesterol and triglyceride reduction.

Tocotrienol, the protector of State

Tocotrienol, the protector of State: Tocotrienol has more mobility than Tocopherol due to its small structure so it can cover a larger area targeting more number of colon cancer cells.

Small structure and less molecular weight

Small structure and less molecular weight: The higher anti-oxidant activity of Tocotrienols is due to their small structure and less molecular weight which assist in their integration of the cell, unlike Tocopherols.