New technology is letting researchers watch the brain while it suffers through a stroke. The picture isn't very pretty. But it's vital for research, as it's allowing these researchers to find ways to stop a stroke or reverse the damage after the stroke.
One of the lead scientists in this developing area of technology is Dr. Cameron Rink, a professor of surgery at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. He's leading the research on stroke treatment at the university. And he's made some very exciting discoveries. Not surprisingly, one of the best anti-stroke preventives is a natural vitamin. But it's not just one of the best-known nutrients. It's one that few people have heard about before – but hopefully they will now.
Dr. Rink says that once a stroke occurs and the blood and oxygen stop flowing, "There's not much we can do for a patient at this point and that's frustrating." Considering the fact that over 1,000 experimental drugs have failed to help these patients, it's easy to see why he's frustrated.
So Dr. Rink has focused on prevention. He's conducted several animal studies that have shown how brain damage during a stroke can be prevented. How? You have to trigger the surrounding blood vessels to dilate. This redirects blood flow around the blockage.
What's more, Dr. Rink found during one study that taking a particular vitamin for 10 weeks prior to the stroke could cause this blood-vessel dilation. This vitamin is an overlooked cousin of vitamin E. We call it tocotrienols.
I've told you about tocotrienols in the past. They're very effective at treating heart and eye problems. The fact that they help your eyes makes this discovery about strokes more understandable. Many eye problems occur because of poor circulation in the eye. Tocotrienols reduce inflammation in and around the blood vessels in the eye, allowing more blood and oxygen into the eye.
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Since stroke damage occurs when there's a lack of blood and oxygen, we see that tocotrienols work throughout your vascular system and are especially helpful in your brain and eyes (which are really just an extension of your brain). The ability of tocotrienols to establish this "collateral blood supply" helps deliver more blood and oxygen to affected areas.
"We know that people who have good collaterals have better recovery from strokes. We think that tocotrienols help improve the function of collaterals, which would offer someone better protection from an initial or secondary stroke," said Dr. Rink.
Of course, Dr. Rink is saying we need more studies to fully confirm and understand tocotrienols impact on stroke damage. While this is true, there's no reason to wait for the studies before taking this nutrient. It's perfectly safe. And if you ever have a stroke, taking two softgels of Delta Tocotrienols every day could save your life and allow you to fully recover.
Your insider for better health,
Steve Kroening is the editor of Nutrient Insider, a twice-a-week email newsletter that brings you the latest healing breakthroughs from the world of nutrition and dietary supplements. For over 20 years, Steve has worked hand-in-hand with some of the nation's top doctors, including Drs. Robert Rowen, Frank Shallenberger, Nan Fuchs, William Campbell Douglass, and best-selling author James Balch. Steve is the author of the book Practical Guide to Home Remedies. As a health journalist, Steve's articles have appeared in countless magazines, blogs, and websites.