Study shows combining quercetin and tocotrienols can help fight cancer
07/21/2022 // Zoey Sky // Views

A study found that combining two potent natural substances can help remove aging and "senile" cells – a promising development in the battle against cancer.

The study findings revealed that the potent combination of quercetin and tocotrienols (a form of vitamin E) work together to get rid of aging cells that can cause chronic inflammation and disease. At the same time, these two compounds help promote the health and growth of normal cells.

"Old" cells and "new" cells

When "old" cells stop dividing, they stop creating new cells. Old and obsolete cells also lose the ability to die off due to a condition called cellular senescence.

Senescent cells then accumulate in your body and release pro-inflammatory chemicals that promote aging and increase cancer risk.

But senescence isn't always bad.

For example, triggering senescence in malignant cancer cells stops their uncontrolled replication and causes them to die. When quercetin and tocotrienol work together, they clear away senile cells and induce aging in malignant cells. These can also help prevent tumors from growing.

This means manipulating cellular senescence to suppress tumors could be the answer to cancer.

Tocotrienols and cancer-prevention

Tocotrienols are a form of natural vitamin E found in foods like barley, some grains, nuts and wheat germ. These compounds are anti-inflammatory and cholesterol-lowering. Tocotrienols can also help protect against radiation.

Many studies have focused on the better-known tocopherol form of vitamin E; researchers are only starting to discover the potential benefits of tocotrienols and credit them with anti-aging effects.


Recent research has focused on gamma-tocotrienol, one of the four forms of tocotrienols. Data shows that gamma-tocotrienol selectively targets cancer cells, which then triggers cellular senescence and promotes apoptosis, or programmed cell death.

Additionally, tocotrienol offers benefits for normal, healthy cells by slowing aging, promoting normal cell division and preventing senescence.

Data suggests that tocotrienol's beneficial effects are strengthened when it is paired with quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that helps protect plants from infection. Experts classify both tocotrienols and quercetin as sinolytics, or compounds that help slow aging and prolong life.

Tocotrienol's anti-cancer effects

A study published in the journal Biofactors showed that tocotrienol can stop tumors from spreading. This finding was backed by an animal study showing that tocotrienol could inhibit tumor growth in mice injected with human liver cancer cells.

Other studies have also proven tocotrienol's protective effects on normal cells. Researchers found that the vitamin helps reverse cell cycle arrest and reduced DNA damage.

In another study published in the journal Current Drug Targets, a combination of tocotrienols and quercetin induced senescence and promoted apoptosis in different types of cancer cells. The compounds also helped slow senescence in healthy cells and rejuvenated formerly healthy senescent cells.

The researchers said quercetin and tocotrienols are "promising natural compounds" that seem to satisfy all requirements for developing health-promoting nutraceuticals.

Boosting your intake of tocotrienol and quercetin

Studies recommend taking 500 to 800 mg of quercetin a day for three months to eliminate senile cells in the body, followed by a maintenance program of 150 mg of quercetin a day.

Benefits have been reported with tocotrienol dosages ranging from 40 to 400 mg a day. For chemopreventive effects, experts recommend taking 150 mg of tocotrienol a day for 90 days, followed by a maintenance dose of 100 mg of tocotrienol a day.

While both quercetin and tocotrienol are considered generally safe for use, the compounds may interact with some medications. Check with a natural health practitioner first if you are taking medications for other conditions.

Other healthy habits that can help prevent cancer

Aside from taking quercetin and tocotrienol supplements, these healthy habits can help protect against cancer:

Avoid tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke

Smoking isn't just linked to cancer, it can also cause many other serious health issues. Quitting smoking doesn't just benefit yourself, but also people in your immediate vicinity who might inhale tobacco smoke.

Follow a balanced diet

Reducing your consumption of saturated fat and red meat can help reduce the risk of colon cancer and a more aggressive form of prostate cancer.

You can improve your overall well-being by eating more fruits, vegetables and whole grains.

Exercise regularly

Regular physical activity has been linked to a reduced risk of colon cancer. Studies suggest that exercise can also help reduce a woman's risk of breast and reproductive cancers.

Even if you don't lose weight, exercising regularly offers many protective benefits like maintaining a healthy weight, which is key to preventing other health issues like diabetes and obesity.

Maintain a healthy weight 

Obesity increases your risk of many types of cancer.

Try counting calories if you need help losing weight. Prepare meals with fewer calories and burn more calories with physical activity.

Avoid or limit your alcohol consumption

It's best to avoid drinking, but if you want to consume alcohol, limit yourself to one drink a day.

Excessive alcohol consumption can increase your risk of colon, esophageal (food pipe), laryngeal (voice box), liver and mouth cancer. Drinking excessively can also increase the risk of breast cancer in women.

Avoid unnecessary exposure to radiation

Get medical imaging studies only when absolutely necessary and check your home for residential radon, which increases the risk of lung cancer.

When spending time outdoors, protect yourself from ultraviolet radiation in sunlight, which increases the risk of melanomas and other skin cancers.

Get enough restful sleep

While the evidence linking sleep to cancer isn't strong, data suggests that poor and insufficient sleep is linked to weight gain, a known cancer risk factor.

Get enough vitamin D

Health experts recommend getting at least 800 to 1,000 IU of vitamin D a day, but this goal is almost impossible to attain without taking a supplement.

Studies have found that vitamin D may help reduce the risk of colon cancer, prostate cancer and other health issues.

Follow a balanced diet, have healthy habits and take quercetin and tocotrienol supplements to protect yourself against cancer and boost your overall health.

Watch the video below to know more about which vitamin E supplements to take for cancer prevention.

This video is from the Conners Clinic channel on

More related stories:

Tocotrienol replaces tocopherol as the new face of vitamin E.

Combination of an active plant compound and a form of vitamin E shows promise as an anti-cancer treatment.

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in many foods, has anti-aging and anti-cancer properties.

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