Unique Habits of Ridiculously Likeable People

Too many people succumb to the mistaken belief that being likeable comes from natural, unteachable traits that belong only to a lucky few—the good looking, the fiercely social, and the incredibly talented. It’s easy to fall prey to this misconception.

When I speak to smaller audiences, I often ask them to describe the most likeable people they have ever worked with. People inevitably ignore innate characteristics (intelligence, extraversion, attractiveness, and so on) and instead focus on qualities that are completely under people’s control, such as approachability, humility, and positivity.

These qualities, and others like them, describe people who are skilled in emotional intelligence (EQ). Research data from more than a million people shows that people who possess these skills aren’t just highly likeable, they outperform those who don’t by a large margin. Ninety percent of top performers have high EQs, people with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.

Being likeable is under your control, and it’s a matter of emotional intelligence. Unlike innate, fixed characteristics, such as your intelligence (IQ), EQ is a flexible skill that you can improve with effort.

To help you improve your EQ, I did some digging to uncover the key behaviors that emotionally intelligent people engage in that make them so likeable.

They are genuine. Being genuine and honest is essential to being likeable. No one likes a fake. People gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them. It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how they really feel.

Likeable people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their own skin. By concentrating on what drives you and makes you happy as an individual, you become a much more interesting person than if you attempt to win people over by making choices that you think will make them like you.

They ask thoughtful questions. The biggest mistake people make when it comes to listening is they’re so focused on what they’re going to say next or how what the other person is saying is going to affect them that they fail to hear what’s being said. The words come through loud and clear, but the meaning is lost. A simple way to avoid this is to ask a lot of questions. People like to know you’re listening, and something as simple as a clarification question shows that not only are you listening, you also care about what they’re saying. You’ll be surprised how much respect and appreciation you gain just by asking questions.

They don’t pass judgment. If you want to be likeable you must be open-minded. Being open-minded makes you approachable and interesting to others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.

Having an open mind is crucial in the workplace where approachability means access to new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you believe what they believe or condone their behavior, it simply means you quit passing judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can you let them be who they are.

They don’t seek attention. People are averse to those who are desperate for attention. You don’t need to develop a big, extroverted personality to be likeable. Simply being friendly and considerate is all you need to win people over. When you speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, you will notice that people are much more attentive and persuadable than if you try to show them you’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly and are more attracted to the right attitude than what—or how many people—you know.

When you’re being given attention, such as when you’re being recognized for an accomplishment, shift the focus to all the people who worked hard to help you get there. This may sound cliché, but if it’s genuine, the fact that you pay attention to others and appreciate their help will show that you’re appreciative and humble—two adjectives that are closely tied to likeability.

They are consistent. Few things make you more unlikeable than when you’re all over the place. When people approach you, they like to know whom they’re dealing with and what sort of response they can expect. To be consistent you must be reliable, and you must ensure that even when your mood goes up and down it doesn’t affect how you treat other people.

They use positive body language. Becoming cognizant of your gestures, expressions, and tone of voice (and making certain they’re positive) will draw people to you like ants to a picnic. Using an enthusiastic tone, uncrossing your arms, maintaining eye contact, and leaning towards the person who’s speaking are all forms of positive body language that high-EQ people use to draw others in. Positive body language can make all the difference in a conversation.

It’s true that how you say something can be more important than what you say.

They leave a strong first impression. Research shows most people decide whether or not they like you within the first seven seconds of meeting you. They then spend the rest of the conversation internally justifying their initial reaction. This may sound terrifying, but by knowing this you can take advantage of it to make huge gains in your likeability. First impressions are tied intimately to positive body language. Strong posture, a firm handshake, smiling, and opening your shoulders to the person you are talking to will help ensure that your first impression is a good one.

They greet people by name. Your name is an essential part of your identity, and it feels terrific when people use it. Likeable people make certain they use others’ names every time they see them. You shouldn’t use someone’s name only when you greet him. Research shows that people feel validated when the person they’re speaking with refers to them by name during a conversation.

If you’re great with faces but have trouble with names, have some fun with it and make remembering people’s names a brain exercise. When you meet someone, don’t be afraid to ask her name a second time if you forget it right after you hear it. You’ll need to keep her name handy if you’re going to remember it the next time you see her.

They smile. People naturally (and unconsciously) mirror the body language of the person they’re talking to. If you want people to like you, smile at them during a conversation and they will unconsciously return the favor and feel good as a result.

They know who to touch (and they touch them). When you touch someone during a conversation, you release oxytocin in their brain, a neurotransmitter that makes their brain associate you with trust and a slew of other positive feelings. A simple touch on the shoulder, a hug, or a friendly handshake is all it takes to release oxytocin. Of course, you have to touch the right person in the right way to release oxytocin, as unwanted or inappropriate touching has the opposite effect. Just remember, relationships are built not just from words, but also from general feelings about each other. Touching someone appropriately is a great way to show you care.

They balance passion and fun. People gravitate toward those who are passionate. That said, it’s easy for passionate people to come across as too serious or uninterested because they tend to get absorbed in their work. Likeable people balance their passion with the ability to have fun. At work they are serious, yet friendly. They still get things done because they are socially effective in short amounts of time and they capitalize on valuable social moments. They minimize small talk and gossip and instead focus on having meaningful interactions with their coworkers. They remember what you said to them yesterday or last week, which shows that you’re just as important to them as their work.

Bringing It All Together

Likeable people are invaluable and unique. They network with ease, promote harmony in the workplace, bring out the best in everyone around them, and generally seem to have the most fun. Add these skills to your repertoire and watch your likeability soar!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Dr. Travis Bradberry is the award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book, Emotional Intelligence 2.0, and the cofounder of TalentSmart, the world’s leading provider of emotional intelligence tests and training, serving more than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry has written for, or been covered by, Newsweek, TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The Harvard Business Review.

The Powerful Influencing Effect of People’s Faces On Other’s Behavior

Beautiful-Baby-Face-Photo

A picture may be worth 1,000 words, but what a face can do is apparently priceless.  Princeton researchers discovered that people might make fast, subconscious decisions based solely on appearance at times when it was thought the decisions were based on more rational measures.

 In this case, participants in the study were asked to choose which political candidate seemed most competent by looking only at their picture.  The people were able to predict the outcome of nearly 72 percent of three U.S. Senate races based only on this visual information.

“The findings are striking—I didn’t believe them at first,” said Alexander Todorov, assistant professor of psychology and public affairs.  “I think that a lot of inferences that we make about other people are fairly automatic and can even occur outside of conscious awareness.  The catch is that these inferences can influence important deliberate decisions.”

From Birth on We Make Decisions Based on Appearance

One study found that, within the first 3 to 6 months of life, a baby established a preference for “attractive” people.  They look at attractive faces longer than unattractive faces during this age span, then, when they reach 1 year, begin to show a more positive response to attractive people than unattractive people.

Further, studies have shown that very young children make choices about who they’d like to play with based on facial attractiveness and body form.  Evidence has even been found that physical attractiveness influences social acceptance among children in nursery school.

But kids are not the only ones with such views.  In a study in which 400 teachers analyzed the same school records for two children (one attractive and one unattractive), the teachers gave higher ratings of education potential to the attractive children.

Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?

A review of literature on the effect of facial attractiveness from 1932 to 1999, published in the Psychological Bulletin, found that beauty is, in fact, NOT in the eye of the beholder.  It was found that most people agree about who is or is not attractive (within and across ethnicities), and there may be universal standards by which attractiveness is judged.

Plus, that old saying ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ seems to go largely ignored.  Adults and children considered attractive were judged more favorably and treated more positively than their unattractive counterparts, even by those who knew them.

Moms Even Judge Their Babies

Beautiful-Baby-Face-Photo

Surprisingly, according to the Langlois Social Development Lab, mothers appear to be more affectionate toward and play more with their infants if they’re attractive, compared to those who were less attractive.

Plus, mothers of less attractive infants rated them as more of a disruption to their lives than mothers of attractive infants.  Although none of the mothers treated their infants badly, attractiveness did influence even maternal behavior.

What Makes a Face Attractive?

There are several theories out there as to what actually makes a face attractive.  Some researchers believe that youthfulness, a smile or a symmetrical face all play a role.  And, according to Langlois Social Development Lab, a face must be “close to population mean” to be considered attractive.  In other words, it must be average.

Are We All That Superficial?

What does all this mean in the real world?  Are we all just superficial beings wrapped up in judging one another on our looks?  Not really.  Many researchers suggest that these preferences are ingrained in us, and that we may prefer an attractive person in choosing a mate because we believe attractiveness on the outside may also be a sign of a healthy inside (and thus a more reliable mate).

Or, as in the case of the first study, the participants made subconscious decisions based on the photos—they probably would have a hard time describing why they felt one candidate looked more competent than the other, it was almost an instinctual decision.

Most important when it comes to yourself and your face – facial expressions are a reflection of how you feel and what makes you happiest.  Repetitive movements become creases, such as frowning, smiling, squinting, corners of the mouth turning down etc.  The eyes may be the windows to the soul, but the expression on your face records each of your fleeting emotional states. As feelings of worry, excitement, and positivity pass through your mind, they tell your facial muscles how to respond. People with a good poker face can hide those feelings, but for the average person, there’s some leakage.

What about when people’s faces are at rest? What can you infer then about their feelings? Perhaps you’ve caught yourself inadvertently in the mirror or the reflection of a window when you were in the middle of a thoughtful, contemplative episode. Were you surprised to see that you looked angry, when you weren’t?

This common situation of catching a glimpse of yourself while at rest and looking angry has inspired the term, for women, “Resting Bitch Face”.

According to the RBF theory, if a woman is caught in contemplation (i.e., not smiling), people are more likely to think she’s angry than if a man shows the exact same facial expression. A woman who doesn’t smile is assumed to be in a bad mood because, so the theory goes, women are expected to smile at all times. Through cultural conditioning, women have learned that in order for people to like them, they have to wear a smile even if they don’t think anything is particularly funny. Men who look thoughtful are seen as serious; women with the same expression are perceived as unfriendly and unlikeable.

 

They say survival of the fittest, thats not true… it is survival of the adaptable.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 5.19.32 PMIt’s likely that you’ve heard about the detrimental effects of the stress hormone cortisol. Elevated cortisol levels and chronic stress can affect every physiological system in your body, including your thyroid and adrenal glands. It can make you anxious and irritable, lead to weight gain and bone loss, contribute to diabetes and heart disease risk, and deplete your energy levels.

Cortisol is also known as the aging hormone. When cortisol gets too high, it puts you into a “fight or flight” response, which stimulates your sympathetic nervous system and your adrenal glands. When this occurs, there is a decrease in your digestive secretions and an increase in blood pressure. This puts your body in a state of constant stress, which will burn out your adrenal glands, stress your digestive tract and cause you to age more rapidly.

So if you want to look younger, feel younger and be healthy — and heal adrenal fatigue — you must get your cortisol levels balanced.Side effects of chronically elevated cortisol can include:

  • Anxiety
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Cancer
  • Chronic fatigue syndrome
  • Common Colds
  • Hormone imbalance
  • Irritable bowel disease
  • Thyroid conditions
  • Weight loss resistance

So what can help us adapt to stress and lower cortisol? Adaptogens …

 

What Are Adaptogens?

Phytotherapy refers to the use of plants for their healing abilities. Adaptogens are a unique class of healing plants: They help balance, restore and protect the body. As naturopath Edward Wallace explains, an adaptogen doesn’t have a specific action: It helps you respond to any influence or stressor, normalizing your physiological functions. (1)

Naturopath Marcelle Pick of Women to Women reports that adaptogenic herbs can recharge your adrenal glands, helping you to respond to stress. (2) Adaptogens include ashwaganda, astragalus, ginseng, licorice root, holy basil, some mushrooms and rhodiola. According to Jan Whiticomb, there are 16 proven adaptogenic herbs.

Top 7 Adaptogen Herbs

1. Ginseng is the most well-known adaptogen, and Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) is considered the most potent. According to Wallace, research has validated Asian ginseng’s use for improving mental performance and your ability to withstand stress. This red ginseng also has antioxidant effects, antidepressant effects, and can help naturally lower blood pressure and blood sugar levels.

There are a number of adaptogens referred to as ginsengs that aren’t technically ginsengs, but keep in mind that they have similar composition or effects.

2. Holy basil also called tulsi, holy basil is known in India as the “elixir of anti-aging.” Preliminary studies suggest that holy basil benefits include helping you fight fatigue and stress; boost your immune system; and regulate blood sugar, blood pressure and hormone levels.

3. Ashwaganda is often referred to as Indian ginseng. Often used in Ayurvedic medicine, ashwaganda regulates the immune system and eases anxiety. Ashwaganda has been used in Eastern medicine for over 2,500 years and has immuno-modulating effects that boost your immune system and aid the body in lowering cortisol levels.

 

4. Astragalus root is used in Chinese medicine, astragalus boosts immunity and buffers the effects of stress. It increases the amount of anti-stress compounds our bodies use to repair and prevent stress-related damage. It may also reduce the ability of stress hormones like cortisol to bind to receptors.

5. Licorice root can increase energy and endurance, boost the immune system, and protect the thymus from being damaged by cortisol, but its use requires professional supervision because of how it may affect blood pressure.

6. Rhodiola (rhodiola rosea), or golden root, is a potent adaptogen that has been the focus of much research. Rhodiola provides a buffer to stress-related mental and physical fatigue. According to Whiticomb, Rhodiola was used by Russian cosmonauts, athletes and military personnel, and years of study have begun to uncover the very mechanisms by which it acts as an adaptogen.

Rhodiola rosea contains a phytochemical known as salisdroside. This component helps relieve anxiety and combat aging. Rhodiola suppresses the production of cortisol and increases levels of stress-resistant proteins.

Studies have found that it restores normal patterns of eating and sleeping after stress; lowers mental and physical fatigue; and protects against oxidative stress, heat stress, radiation and exposure to toxic chemicals. Rhodiola also protects the heart and liver, increases use of oxygen, improves memory, and may even extend longevity. Also, new research proves it’s effective as a weight loss agent.

7. Cordycep mushrooms reishi, shiitake and maitake mushrooms are funguses with antioxidant properties. That means nutrition-rich mushrooms have all the benefits of antioxidant foods. They may not be adaptogens in the classic sense, but each has adaptogenic, anti-tumor and immune-enhancing properties.

Eating well, getting proper rest, staying active, writing down what you’re grateful for and maintaining social connection all help protect you from chronic stress, which can kill your quality of life. Adding adaptogens to your routine can make you even more resilient to the damaging effects of high cortisol levels.

 

 

 

Why the Network Marketing Industry is Exploding

12243701_843256949127667_125045072_nThe Great American Dream is gone. Official U.S. government reports point out that more than 3.5 million jobs have been eliminated in the past 10 years. This includes over 2,000 jobs per day last year alone. More frightening; an estimated 55% of all jobs created in the next 10 years will be near minimum wage. Currently, 90% of all the people in North America earn less than $40,000 a year and today’s two-income family are not living as well as their parents did. As well as what has been just stated, check out these economic facts:

At age 50:

-75% of the population has less than $5,000 in the bank for retirement.

At age 65:

-45% of Americans depend on relatives.

-30% depend on charities.

-23% are still working (most can’t afford to quit and work until they are no longer physically capable).

-Only 2% are self-sustaining.

At the current time:

-It is impossible to support a family of two working full time at minimum wage.

-For the first time in history, the current generation is averaging a lower standard of living then their parents.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics also states:

Out of 100 people that start working at the age of 25, by the age of 65:

-1 is wealthy.

-4 have enough money to retire.

-63 depend on social security or charity.

-29 are deceased.

One of the most disheartening statistics is this:

-95% of people, age 65 and over cannot afford to retire and work until they die.

Well isn’t that great news? There is a solution though. Since the beginning of the MLM industry in the 1950’s there has been six recessions in the United States of different degrees. With each recession the MLM industry has experienced significant growth because as the economy goes, Network Marketing goes the opposite. Currently our economy is just coming out or going into another official recessional period, depending upon who you ask. Once again, indicators are showing that the MLM industry is beginning another growth trend here in the United States. Many MLM companies, large and small, have experienced record growth in overall sales and sponsoring in the last year. Furthermore, with the start of the New Year many of those same companies are seeing even greater growth from month to month.

So why does the Network Marketing Industry increase during down economic times? Simple; because there are more people looking for another stream of income. There are more potential business partners in a recession because of the uncertainty of their current and future financial situation. Many have lost their jobs, had their wages or overtime cut back or simply are concerned that they may be next in line for being laid off or cut back. For those that are financially stable, they are realizing that they may no longer be safe and that additional income wouldn’t be a bad thing.

The MLM Industry gives the average person the ability to create residual income, the king of all income, meaning that it comes in, month after month, for work that one did once in the past. It also provides this opportunity with a much smaller investment than what it would take to build a “brick and mortar” business. There are many that are able to build a large income in the MLM Industry that provides full financial freedom, but for most people, the average bonus check is between $500 and $1,000 per month which equates to supplementary income for mass amounts of people.

Because of this ability to generate extra income for the average person, there will be a rush into this Industry over the next several years. People will need alternatives.

So you can see for yourself, the following are the official Network Marketing statistics in the U.S. that are going on around you (Direct Selling Association & U.S. Census statistics):

-Someone starts a new home business every 10 seconds (U.S.).

-15.8 Million people working from home full-time (U.S.).

-Another 38 million or 12% of the total population working from home part-time (U.S.).

-8,493 new home businesses open every day (U.S.).

-Increasing by over 600,000 people per year (U.S.).

-82% of distributors are female and 18% are male (U.S.).

-By 2015, it is estimated that 50% of homes will be involved in the MLM Industry (U.S.).

-$28.56 billion in Direct Sales (Network Marketing) in 2010 (U.S.).

-23% of all Network Marketing sales are related to the Wellness Industry (U.S.).

-Average work from home income $59,250 per year (U.S.).

-20% of home based entrepreneurs said that their business grossed between $100,000 and $500,000 last year (U.S.).

-Home based business wage earner’s success rate is over 85% compared with small businesses like retail shops and restaurants, at about 95% failure rate after 5 years.

-84% recommend working from home to others (U.S.).

-29% work at home with other family members (U.S.).

If you thought the United States Network Marketing statistics were good, the World-wide MLM statistics are even more explosive!

 

Do We Instinctually Favor Beautiful People

A picture may be worth a 1,000 words, but what a face can do is apparently priceless.  Princeton researchers discovered that people might make fast, subconscious decisions based solely on appearance at times when it was thought the decisions were based on more rational measures.

In this case, participants in the study were asked to choose which political candidate seemed most competent by looking only at their picture.  The people were able to predict the outcome of nearly 72 percent of three U.S. Senate races based only on this visual information.

The findings are striking—I didn’t believe them at first,” said Alexander Todorov, assistant professor of psychology and public affairs.  “I think that a lot of inferences that we make about other people are fairly automatic and can even occur outside of conscious awareness.  The catch is that these inferences can influence important deliberate decisions.”

From Birth on We Make Decisions Based on Appearance

One study found that, within the first 3 to 6 months of life, a baby established a preference for “attractive” people.  They look at attractive faces longer than unattractive faces during this age span, then, when they reach 1 year, begin to show a more positive response to attractive people than unattractive people.

Further studies have shown that very young children make choices about who they’d like to play with based on facial attractiveness and body form.  Evidence has even been found that physical attractiveness influences social acceptance among children in nursery school.

But kids are not the only ones with such views.  In a study in which 400 teachers analyzed the same school records for two children (one attractive and one unattractive), the teachers gave higher ratings of education potential to the attractive children.

Is Beauty Really in the Eye of the Beholder?

A review of the literature on the effects of facial attractiveness from 1932 to 1989, published in the Psychological Bulletin, found that beauty is, in fact, NOT in the eye of the beholder.  It was found that most people agree about who is or is not attractive (within and across ethnicities), and there may be universal standards by which attractiveness is judged.

Plus, that old saying, ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’ seems to go largely ignored.  Adults and children considered attractive were judged more favorably and treated more positively than their unattractive counterparts, even by those who knew them.

 

Moms Even Judge Their Babies

Surprisingly, according to the Langlois Social Development Lab, mothers appear to be more affectionate toward and play more with their infants if they’re attractive, compared to those who were less attractive.

Plus, mothers of less attractive infants rated them as more disruption to their lives than mothers of attractive infants.  Although none of the mothers treated their infants badly, attractiveness did influence even maternal behavior.

Are We All That Superficial?

What does all this mean in the real world?  Are we all just superficial beings wrapped up in judging one another on our looks?  Not really. Many researchers suggest that these preferences are ingrained in us, and that we may prefer an attractive person in choosing a mate because we believe attractiveness on the outside may also be  assign of a healthy inside (and thus a more reliable mate).

Or, as in the case of the first study, the participants made subconscious decisions based on the photos—they probably would have a hard time describing why they felt one candidate looked more competent than the other, it was almost an instinctual decision.

Tocotrienols: Twenty Years Of Dazzling Cardiovascular and Cancer Research

Numerous studies over the past two decades have clearly proven that the tocotrienol form of vitamin E is a top choice for cardiovascular protection and heart health. A recent review of tocotrienol science points out that they are also being researched for benefits to bone health, blood sugar metabolism, brain health and cancer. Tocotrienols offer a safe and effective way to help achieve or maintain healthy cholesterol, while simultaneously protecting your arteries. It is worthwhile understanding more about them and how they can improve your health.

The vitamin E family consists of four tocotrienols and four tocopherols. D alpha tocopherol is the commonly understood form of vitamin E and has been extensively researched and has its own value to human health. The difference between tocotrienols and tocopherols is the “tail” on the vitamin E molecule. Tocopherols have a long saturated tail. Tocotrienols have a short unsaturated tail. The unique structure of tocotrienols enables them to do many things that tocopherols cannot do. This includes easier access to cells, better antioxidant function in cells, a better ability to move around in cells, and the activation of a wide variety of gene signals including cholesterol regulation.

The first recognition of tocotrienols as regulators of cholesterol occurred in a 1986 study   in which tocotrienols reduced the rate of synthesis of cholesterol by the liver, in turn reducing total and LDL cholesterol. In April 1991, the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published an animal study and two human studies, triggering an explosion in scientific interest in tocotrienols, which continues to this day. They conducted an 8 week double-blind crossover study with 15 humans. During the four weeks on 50 mg per day of tocotienols the total cholesterol was lowered 15 percent, LDL by 8 percent, and factors affecting platelet stickiness were also improved. Another preliminary human study with 42 mg of tocotrienols per day found that many participants lowered their cholesterol, in some cases up to 35 percent for both total and LDL cholesterol. The dose of tocotrienols used in these early studies was relatively small, yet it still showed a positive influence on cholesterol levels.

Researchers next documented that it was gamma tocotrienol responsible for inhibiting cholesterol synthesis in the liver. As the research progressed, scientists showed that gamma tocotrienol was reducing theHMG CoA reductase enzyme, which is the starting point in the production line for cholesterol synthesis within your liver. It should be pointed out that statins—especially in high doses—take a sledgehammer to this same enzyme, essentially clogging up its receptors so that no communication can get through. By comparison, tocotrienols work more on a consulting basis, gently down-regulating the enzyme as part of a communication strategy. Big Pharma invariably likes the sledgehammer approach, as they produce forced behavior on human systems. They can change numbers, even if a person continues to eat excessively. Maximizing the benefits of tocotrienols would require a person actually eat better.  Of course, tocotrienols have none of the toxic side effects that statins have.

While your liver uses this HMG CoA reductase cholesterol synthesis pathway (melvalonate pathway) to produce LDL cholesterol for your entire body, every cell in your body also uses the same pathway to produce small pieces of cholesterol that are vital for maintaining the health and survival of any cell. In cancer situations, this pathway is hijacked and used by cancer cells to foster their own survival at the expense of your body. Researchers quickly realized that the “consulting style” of tocotrienols within your liver and healthy cells would be very different inside cancer cells and would not place any brakes on tocotrienols stopping HMG CoA reductase activity. In other words, tocotrienols had a unique ability to differentiate between healthy cells and cancer cells and in the case of cancer they could cripple a primary defense system of the cancer. I should point out that statins can also kill cancer in a test tube but the dose required to kill cancer in humans kills the human first. On the other hand, tocotrienols have demonstrated excellent tumor killing ability, even helping chemo drugs work much better  on resistant forms of cancer. Tocotrienols do not injure the human body.

As the benefits of tocotrienols became apparent, so did the commercial interests in potentially different sources of them. Palm oil was high in gamma tocotrienol but not as high in alpha tocotrienol, which was turning out to be relevant to antioxidant protection of the arteries and brain. Palm oil is more difficult to put into capsules and requires the addition of other oils to make it flow easily. Rice bran oil is a rich source of both gamma and alpha tocotrienol; with some additional attention to quality it can be produced without any filler oils. This allows for the production of a highly purified end product with no additive oils, should a manufacturer chose to go the extra mile as Kyani has.

Rice Bran Oil was known for some time to help cholesterol reduction. The recognition that tocotrienols were a main component of the oil in combination with all the emerging tocotrienol research, led scientists to study tocotrienols isolated from rice bran oil. Leading the pack was the University of Wisconsin research team that a decade earlier had done the pioneering work with palm tocotrienols, hypercholesterolemic pigs, and the first human studies. They tested 50 mgs per day of rice bran oil tocotrienols. After six weeks total, cholesterol was reduced 32-38 percent, LDL cholesterol was reduced 35-43 percent, glucose was reduced 22-25 percent, triglycerides were reduced 15-19 percent, and various factors influencing sticky platelets were also reduced.

Next the Wisconsin researchers placed 28 people with high cholesterol on a restricted diet for a month and then gave them either 50 mg of rice bran oil tocotrienols, 10 mg of the statin drug Mevacor (a relatively low dose, which is generally not toxic), or 50 mg tocotrienols, or a combination of 50 mg tocotrienols and 10 mg Mevacor. In the 50 mg tocotrienol group total cholesterol was lowered by 14 percent and LDL by 18 percent. In the Mevacor group total cholesterol was lowered by 13 percent and LDL by 15 percent.  In the combination group, total cholesterol was lowered by 20 percent and LDL by 25 percent. Several months later the researchers tested various doses of rice bran oil tocotrienols (25 mg, 50 mg, 100 mg, 200 mg).  After being put on a restricted diet for a month 90 people were then divided into various groups. The 100 mg per day dose  worked best, lowering total cholesterol by 20 percent, LDL by 25 percent, and triglycerides by 12 percent.  This is excellent human data to support the use of tocotrienols from rice bran oil in combination with eating well in the management of cholesterol.

In addition to the cholesterol-lowering properties of tocotrienols scientists were becoming interested in the ability of tocotrienols to positively benefit the health of arteries. In this case the focus turned primarily to alpha tocotrienol, which demonstrated a high level of antioxidant function. It was first recognized that alpha tocotrienol could prevent free radical damage to LDL cholesterol in humans with high cholesterol.  Only damaged (oxidized LDL) can form plaque in the arteries.

Scientists then tested tocotrienols in mice who were genetically programmed to develop high cholesterol and hardening of the arteries when eating a high fat diet. When given tocotrienols and a high fat diet these mice did not develop high cholesterol and the hardening of their arteries was almost completely stopped (98 percent reduction). Other researchers found similar results when they placed rabbits on a diet designed to produce hardening of the arteries.  Free radical damage in the blood was significantly reduced and the rabbits fed tocotrienols along with the bad diet had much less thickening of their arteries as well as retaining more elastic properties in their arteries.

In order for damaged cholesterol to stick to the lining of your arteries it is engulfed by macrophages (immune cells) that then stick to the endothelial cells that line your arteries. When endothelial cells become inflamed they project a Velcro-like piece of fly paper on the surface of their cells (adhesion molecules) which then enable the cholesterol-laden macrophages to lock on and start the plaque-forming process. A study with inflamed human endothelial cells shows that alpha tocotrienol powerfully inhibits this sticking process, turning off the sticky adhesion molecules by turning down the inflammatory gene regulator within the endothelial cell (NF-kappaB).

The ability of alpha tocotrienol to regulate the core inflammatory gene signal is highly relevant to human health, since it is now recognized that chronic low-grade activation of NF-kappaB is a primary factor in nearly every disease of aging.  Indeed, researchers soon discovered that alpha tocotrienol, but not d alpha tocopherol, could completely inhibit exitotoxic injury to brain cells (a key feature to most aspects of cognitive decline and memory loss).

This article highlights some of the key tocotrienol cardiovascular and cancer research going on around the world,  which continues in full swing today. Human studies continue to show cholesterol-lowering benefits, even in difficult problems like type 2 diabetes. Numerous review articles tout the broad range of benefits, including the prevention of disease, offered by the unique form of vitamin E known as tocotrienols, which truly is the vitamin E for the 21st Century.