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Encyclopedia > Tocopherol
α-Tocopherol [1]
Chemical name (2R)-2,5,7,8-Tetramethyl-2-[(4R,8R)-4,8,12
Chemical formula C29H50O2
Molecular mass 430.69 g/mol
CAS number [59-02-9]
Density 0.950 g/cm³
Melting point 2.5-3.5 °C
Boiling point 200-220 °C at 0.1 mmHg
Disclaimer and references

Tocopherol, or vitamin E, is a fat-soluble vitamin in eight forms that is an important antioxidant. Vitamin E is often used in skin creams and lotions because it is claimed by the manufacturers to play a role in encouraging skin healing and reducing scarring after injuries such as burns.[citation needed] Image File history File links No higher resolution available. ... IUPAC nomenclature is a system of naming chemical compounds and of describing the science of chemistry in general. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... The molecular mass (abbreviated Mr) of a substance, formerly also called molecular weight and abbreviated as MW, is the mass of one molecule of that substance, relative to the unified atomic mass unit u (equal to 1/12 the mass of one atom of carbon-12). ... CAS registry numbers are unique numerical identifiers for chemical compounds, polymers, biological sequences, mixtures and alloys. ... In physics, density is mass m per unit volume V. For the common case of a homogeneous substance, it is expressed as: where, in SI units: ρ (rho) is the density of the substance, measured in kg·m-3 m is the mass of the substance, measured in kg V is... The melting point of a crystalline solid is the temperature at which it changes state from solid to liquid. ... The boiling point of a substance is the temperature at which it can change its state from a liquid to a gas throughout the bulk of the liquid at a given pressure. ... The simplified molecular input line entry specification or SMILES is a specification for unambiguously describing the structure of chemical molecules using short ASCII strings. ... Retinol (Vitamin A) For the record label, see Vitamin Records Vitamins are nutrients required in tiny amounts for essential metabolic reactions in the body. ... Space-filling model of the antioxidant metabolite glutathione. ...

Natural vitamin E exists in eight different forms or isomers, four tocopherols and four tocotrienols. All isomers have a chromanol ring, with a hydroxyl group which can donate a hydrogen atom to reduce free radicals and a hydrophobic side chain which allows for penetration into biological membranes. There is an alpha, beta, gamma and delta form of both the tocopherols and tocotrienols, determined by the number of methyl groups on the chromanol ring. Each form has its own biological activity, the measure of potency or functional use in the body. In chemistry, isomers are molecules with the same chemical formula and often with the same kinds of bonds between atoms, but in which the atoms are arranged differently. ... Chemical structure of Tocotrienol Tocotrienols – Together with Tocopherols, compose the vitamin E family. ... // Hydroxyl group The term hydroxyl group is used to describe the functional group -OH when it is a substituent in an organic compound. ... General Name, Symbol, Number hydrogen, H, 1 Chemical series nonmetals Group, Period, Block 1, 1, s Appearance colorless Atomic mass 1. ... Illustration of a redox reaction Redox (shorthand for oxidation/reduction reaction) describes all chemical reactions in which atoms have their oxidation number (oxidation state) changed. ... In chemistry free radicals are uncharged atomic or molecular species with unpaired electrons or an otherwise open shell configuration. ... In chemistry, hydrophobic or lipophilic species, or hydrophobes, tend to be electrically neutral and nonpolar, and thus prefer other neutral and nonpolar solvents or molecular environments. ... The term Side chain can have different meanings depending on the context: In chemistry and biochemistry a side chain is a part of a molecule attached to a core structure. ... A biological membrane or biomembrane is an enclosing or separating tissue which acts as a barrier within or around a cell. ... In chemistry a methyl-group is a hydrophobic Alkyl functional group which is derived from methane (CH4). ... It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with Bioactivity. ...

As a food additive, tocopherol is labeled with these E numbers: E307 (α-tocopherol), E308 (γ-tocopherol), and E309 (δ-tocopherol). Food additives are substances added to food to preserve flavor or improve its taste and appearance. ... For the mathematical constant see: E (mathematical constant). ...


Sources of vitamin E

In foods, the most abundant sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils such as palm oil, sunflower, corn, soybean and olive oil. Nuts, sunflower seeds, seabuckthorn berries and kiwi fruit, and wheat germ are also good sources. Other sources of vitamin E are whole grains, fish, peanut butter, and green leafy vegetables. Fortified breakfast cereals are also an important source of vitamin E in the United States. Although originally extracted from wheat germ oil, most natural vitamin E supplements are now derived from vegetable oils, usually soybean oil. It has been suggested that this article or section be merged with cooking oil. ... Palm oil from Ghana with its natural dark color visible, 2 litres Palm oil block Palm oil is a form of edible vegetable oil obtained from the fruit of the oil palm tree. ... Binomial name Helianthus annuus L. The sunflower (Helianthus annuus) is an annual plant native to the Americas in the family Asteraceae, with a large flowering head (inflorescence). ... “Corn” redirects here. ... Binomial name Glycine max (L.) Merr. ... Olive oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. ... Hazelnuts from the Common Hazel Chestnut A nut can be either a seed or a fruit. ... The sunflower seed is the seed of the sunflower (Helianthus annuus). ... Species Hippophae rhamnoides Hippophae salicifolia Hippophae tibetana The Sea-buckthorns, also known as Seaberry or Sea Berry, are deciduous shrubs in the genus Hippophae, family Elaeagnaceae. ... Wheat germ is the heart of the wheat kernel - a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamin, zinc and magnesium. ... Whole grains are cereal grains which retain the bran and germ as well as the endosperm, in contrast to refined grains which retain only the endosperm. ... A giant grouper at the Georgia Aquarium Fish are aquatic vertebrates that are typically cold-blooded; covered with scales, and equipped with two sets of paired fins and several unpaired fins. ... This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... Image:ChineseWhiteCabbage. ... This article does not cite any references or sources. ... Wheat germ is the heart of the wheat kernel - a concentrated source of several essential nutrients including Vitamin E, folate (folic acid), phosphorus, thiamin, zinc and magnesium. ...

The actual content of Vitamin E for rich sources is stated in the following list:[2]

Wheat germ oil is extracted from the germ of the wheat kernel, which makes up only 2½% by weight of the kernel. ... Sunflower Oil is the non-volatile oil expressed from sunflower (Helianthus annuus) seeds. ... Binomial name Corylus avellana L. The Common Hazel (Corylus avellana) is a shrub native to Europe and Asia. ... Walnut oil was one of the most important and vital oils of the Renaissance. ... A bottle of peanut oil Peanut oil is an organic oil derived from peanuts, noted to have the slight aroma and taste of its parent legume. ... Binomial name Glycine max Merr. ... Olive oil is a vegetable oil obtained from the olive (Olea europaea), a traditional tree crop of the Mediterranean Basin. ... Binomial name Arachis hypogaea L. This article is about the legume. ... Pollard is a family name and also several things. ... “Corn” redirects here. ... Binomial name Asparagus officinalis L. Asparagus officinalis is a plant species in the family Asparagaceae from which the popular vegetable known as asparagus is obtained. ... Species References ITIS 41455 2002-09-22 Oats are the seeds of any of several cereal grains in the genus Avena. ... Binomial name Glycine max (L.) Merr. ... Species Castanea alnifolia - Bush Chinkapin* Castanea crenata - Japanese Chestnut Castanea dentata - American Chestnut Castanea henryi - Henrys Chestnut Castanea mollissima - Chinese Chestnut Castanea ozarkensis - Ozark Chinkapin Castanea pumila - Allegheny Chinkapin Castanea sativa - Sweet Chestnut Castanea seguinii - Seguins Chestnut * treated as a synonym of by many authors Chestnut (Castanea), including... Binomial name Cocos nucifera L. For other uses, see Coconut (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Solanumlycopersicum Linnaeus ref. ... Binomial name Daucus carota A carrot (Daucus Carota) is a root vegetable, typically orange or white in color with a woody texture. ...

Factors in vitamin E deficiency

There are three specific situations when a vitamin E deficiency is likely to occur. It is seen in persons who cannot absorb dietary fat, has been found in premature, very low birth weight infants (birth weights less than 1500 grams, or 3.5 pounds), and is seen in individuals with rare disorders of fat metabolism. A vitamin E deficiency is usually characterized by neurological problems due to poor nerve conduction.

Individuals who cannot absorb fat may require a vitamin E supplement because some dietary fat is needed for the absorption of vitamin E from the gastrointestinal tract. Anyone diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, individuals who have had part or all of their stomach removed, and individuals with malabsorptive problems such as Crohn's disease, liver disease or pancreatic insufficiency may not absorb fat and should discuss the need for supplemental vitamin E with their physician (3). People who cannot absorb fat often pass greasy stools or have chronic diarrhea. Crohns disease (also known as regional enteritis) is a chronic, episodic, inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract characterized by transmural inflammation (affecting the entire wall of the involved bowel) and skip lesions (areas of inflammation with areas of normal lining in between). ... The liver is an organ in vertebrates including humans. ... Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI) is the inability to properly digest food due to a lack of digestive enzymes made by the pancreas. ...

Very low birth weight infants may be deficient in vitamin E. These infants are usually under the care of a neonatologist, a pediatrician specializing in the care of newborns, who evaluates and treats the exact nutritional needs of premature infants. Neonatology is a sub-specialty of medicine defined as the care of the ill or premature newborn infant. ... Pediatrics (also spelled paediatrics or pædiatrics) is the branch of medicine that deals with the medical care of infants and children. ...

Abetalipoproteinemia is a rare inherited disorder of fat metabolism that results in poor absorption of dietary fat and vitamin E. The vitamin E deficiency associated with this disease causes problems such as poor transmission of nerve impulses, muscle weakness, and degeneration of the retina that can cause blindness. Individuals with abetalipoproteinemia may be prescribed special vitamin E supplements by a physician to treat this disorder. Abetalipoproteinemia is a rare genetic disorder (autosomal recessive) that interferes with the normal absorption of fat and fat soluble vitamins from food. ...

Also, in adults, erythrocyte membrane fragility results as the erythrocytes are oxidized.

Forms of vitamin E


Alpha-tocopherol is traditionally recognized as the most active form of vitamin E in humans, and is a powerful biological antioxidant.

The measurement of "vitamin E" activity in international units (IU) was based on fertility enhancement by the prevention of spontaneous abortions in pregnant rats relative to alpha tocopherol. It increases naturally to about 150% of normal in the maternal circulation during human pregnancies. An International unit (IU, alternatively abbreviated UI) is a unit of measurement in pharmacology, and is based on measured biological activities. ... Diagram of the human circulatory system. ... A pregnant woman near the end of her term Pregnancy is the carrying of one or more embryos or fetuses by female mammals, including humans, inside their bodies. ...

1 IU of vitamin E is defined as the biological equivalent of 0.667 milligrams of RRR-alpha-tocopherol (formerly named d-alpha-tocopherol, or of 1 milligram of all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate (commercially called dl-alpha-tocopheryl acetate, the original d, l- synthetic molecular mix, properly named 2-ambo-alpha-tocopherol, is no longer manufactured).

Other R, R,R tocopherol

The other R, R,R tocopherol vitamers are slowly being recognized as research begins to elucidate their additional roles in the human body.

Many naturopathic and orthomolecular medicine advocates suggest that vitamin E supplements contain at least 20% by weight of the other natural vitamin E isomers.


Tocotrienols, with four d- isomers, also belong to the vitamin E family. The four tocotrienols have structures corresponding to the four tocopherols, except with an unsaturated bond in each of the three isoprene units that form the hydrocarbon tail. Tocopherols have a saturated phytyl tail. Chemical structure of Tocotrienol Tocotrienols – Together with Tocopherols, compose the vitamin E family. ...

Commercial vitamin E supplements

Commercial vitamin E supplements can be classified into several distinct categories:

  • Fully synthetic vitamin E, "d, l-alpha-tocopherol", the most inexpensive, most commonly sold supplement form usually as the acetate ester;
  • Semi-synthetic "natural source" vitamin E esters, the "natural source" forms used in tablets and multiple vitamins; highly fractionated natural d-alpha tocopherol
  • Less fractionated "natural mixed tocopherols" and high gamma-tocopherol fraction supplements

Synthetic vitamin E

Synthetic vitamin E is now manufactured as all-racemic alpha tocopheryl acetate with three chiral centers, with only one alpha tocopherol molecule (moiety) in 8 molecules as actual R, R,R-alpha tocopherol. In chemistry, a racemate is a mixture of equal amounts of left- and right-handed stereoisomers of a chiral molecule. ...

Synthetic all-rac vitamin E is usually marked as d, l-tocopherol or d, l-tocopheryl acetate, with 50% d-alpha tocopherol moiety and 50% l-alpha-tocopherol moiety, as synthesized by an earlier process with only one chiral center.

The synthetic form is not as active as the natural alpha tocopherol form. Information on any side effects of the synthetic vitamin E epimers is not readily available. Naturopathic and orthomolecular medicine advocates have long considered the synthetic vitamin E forms to be with little or no merit for cancer, circulatory and heart diseases. In chemistry, an epimer is a stereoisomer that has a different configuration at only one of several stereogenic centers. ...

Semisynthetic "natural source" vitamin E

Semisynthetic "natural source" vitamin E, manufacturers convert the common natural beta, gamma and delta tocopherol isomers into esters using acetic or succinic acid and add methyl groups to yield d-alpha tocopheryl esters such as d-alpha tocopheryl acetate or d-alpha tocopheryl succinate. These tocopheryl esters are more stable and are easy to use in tablets and multiple vitamin pills.

Because only alpha tocopherols were officially counted as "vitamin E" in supplements, refiners and manufacturers faced enormous economic pressure to esterify and methylate the other natural tocopherol isomers, d-beta-, d-gamma- and d-delta-tocopherol into d-alpha tocopheryl acetate or succinate. However these alpha tocopheryl esters have been shown to be variably and less efficiently absorbed in humans than in the original normative tests using rats.[3]

Tocopheryl nicotinate and tocopheryl linolate esters are used in cosmetics and some pharmaceuticals.

In the healthy human body, the semisynthetic forms are easily de-esterified over several days, primarily in the liver, but not for common problems in premature babies, aged or ill patients.

Mixed tocopherols

"Mixed tocopherols" in the US contain at least 20% w/w other natural R, R,R- tocopherols, i.e. R, R,R-alpha-tocopherol content plus at least 25% R, R,R-beta-, R, R,R-gamma-, R, R,R-delta-tocopherols.

Some premium brands may contain 200% w/w or more of the other tocopherols and measurable tocotrienols.

Some mixed tocopherols with higher gamma-tocopherol content are marketed as "High Gamma-Tocopherol".

The label should report each component in milligrams, except R, R,R-alpha-tocopherol may still be reported in IU.

Recommended amounts

The U.S. Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) Recommended Daily Amount (RDA) for a 25-year old male for Vitamin E is 15 mg/day. Dietary Reference Intake is a set of guidelines set up in 1997 to give more detailed guidance than the RDA system which preceded it. ...

The DRI for vitamin E is based on the alpha-tocopherol form because it is the most active form as originally tested. Results of two national surveys, the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES III 1988-91) and the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes of Individuals (1994 CSFII) indicated that the dietary intakes of most Americans do not provide the recommended amounts of vitamin E. However, a 2000 Institute of Medicine (IOM) report on vitamin E states that intake estimates of vitamin E may be low because energy and fat intake is often underreported in national surveys and because the kind and amount of fat added during cooking is often not known. The IOM states that most North American adults get enough vitamin E from their normal diets to meet current recommendations. However, they do caution individuals who consume low fat diets because vegetable oils are such a good dietary source of vitamin E. "Low-fat diets can substantially decrease vitamin E intakes if food choices are not carefully made to enhance alpha-tocopherol intakes". Vitamin E supplements are absorbed best when taken with meals.[4] The Institute of Medicine, a part of the National Academy of Sciences, is an American organization whose purpose is to provide national advice on issues relating to biomedical science, medicine, and health (National Academy of Sciences, n. ...

Because vitamin E can act as an anticoagulant and may increase the risk of bleeding problems many agencies have set an upper tolerable intake level (UL) for vitamin E at 1,000 mg (1,500 IU) per day.[5] An anticoagulant is a substance that prevents coagulation; that is, it stops blood from clotting. ...

Health issues of vitamin E supplementation

As noted above, "megadoses" of Vitamin E are not recommended by many government agencies, due to a possible increased risk of bleeding.

Two meta-analyses have concluded that synthetic and semisynthetic vitamin E supplements increase mortality, although these meta-analyses have been challenged by the nutrition literature.

A 2005 meta-analysis by Miller in the Annals of Internal Medicine found that high-dosage vitamin E supplements may increase all-cause mortality. [6]

Miller found that "high dose" vitamin E esters (>400 units/day) were associated with an increased risk in all-cause mortality of 39 per 10,000 persons, and a statistically significant relation existed between dose and mortality, with increased risk at doses exceeding 150 units per day. These trials included synthetic beta-carotene and other cofounders.

The Miller study was rebutted by Houston in the Journal of the American Nutraceutical Association[7].

Furthermore, Rosenberg concluded that "toxicity symptoms have not been reported even at intakes of 800 IU per kilogram of body weight daily for 5 months" according to the Food and Nutrition Board (Rosenberg, et al)[citation needed], an amount that corresponds to 60,000 IU per day for a 75 kg adult.

A review of all randomized controlled trials in the scientific literature by the Cochrane Collaboration published in JAMA in 2007 also found an increase in mortality, of 4% (Relative Risk 1.04, 95% confidence interval 1.01-1.07), or 400 per 10,000 persons.[8] The Cochrane Collaboration developed in response to Archie Cochranes call for systematic, up-to-date reviews (currently known as systematic reviews) of all relevant randomized clinical trials of health care. ... JAMA, published continuously since in 1883, is an international peer-reviewed general medical journal published 48 times per year. ...

Research regarding use for specific medical conditions

Conventional medical studies on vitamin E, as of 2006 and as below, use either a synthetic all-racemic ("d, l-") alpha tocopheryl ester (acetate or succinate) or a semi-synthetic d-alpha tocopheryl ester (acetate or succinate). Proponents of megavitamin, orthomolecular and naturally based therapies have advocated, for the last two thirds of a century, and have used the natural tocopherols, often mixed tocopherols with an additional 25% - 200% w/w d-beta-, d-gamma-,[9][10] and d-delta-tocopherol. Based on various clinical, experimental, patent, and individual data, natural health proponents have long held[11][12] that the other poorly studied tocopherols, especially the abundant d-gamma-tocopherol,[13] in combination with other antioxidants such as selenium, coQ10, vitamin C, vitamin K2, mixed carotenoids, and lipoic acid, provide unique biochemical benefits.[7] The methodology, interpretation and reporting of conventional vitamin E studies have even become contentious within conventional medicine circles.[14]

Use during pregnancy

Recent studies into the use of both vitamin C and the single isomer vitamin E esters as possible help in preventing oxidative stress leading to pre-eclampsia has failed to show significant benefits, [15]but did increase the rate of babies born with a low birthweight in one study. [16] However, earlier work that suggested vitamin K (similar structures to natural E isomers) and C together have 91% benefit in nausea and vomiting remains unaddressed.[17] For other uses, see Vitamin C (disambiguation). ... Pre-eclampsia (US: preeclampsia) is said to be present when hypertension arises in pregnancy (pregnancy-induced hypertension) in association with significant protein in the urine. ... Baby weighed as AGA Birth weight is the weight of a baby at its birth. ...

Vitamin E and heart disease

Preliminary research has led to a widely held belief that vitamin E may help prevent or delay coronary heart disease, but larger controlled studies have not shown any benefit. Researchers are fairly certain that oxidative modification of LDL-cholesterol (sometimes called "bad" cholesterol) promotes blockages in coronary arteries that may lead to atherosclerosis and heart attacks[citation needed]. Vitamin E may help prevent or delay coronary heart disease by limiting the oxidation of LDL-cholesterol. Vitamin E also may help prevent the formation of blood clots, which could lead to a heart attack. Observational studies have associated lower rates of heart disease with higher vitamin E intake. A study of approximately 90,000 nurses suggested that the incidence of heart disease was 30% to 40% lower among nurses with the highest intake of vitamin E from diet and supplements. The range of intakes from both diet and supplements in this group was 21.6 to 1,000 IU (32 to 1,500 mg), with the median intake being 208 IU (139 mg). A 1994 review of 5,133 Finnish men and women aged 30 - 69 years suggested that increased dietary intake of vitamin E was associated with decreased mortality (death) from heart disease. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Acute myocardial infarction (AMI or MI), commonly known as a heart attack, is a disease state that occurs when the blood supply to a part of the heart is interrupted. ... The most fundamental reactions in chemistry are the redox processes. ... Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) refers to a class and range of lipoprotein particles, varying somewhat in their size and contents, which carry cholesterol in the blood and around the body, for use by various cells. ...

But even though these observations are promising, randomized clinical trials have consistently shown lack of benefit to the role of vitamin E supplements in heart disease. The Heart Outcomes Prevention Evaluation (HOPE) Study followed almost 10,000 patients for 4.5 years who were at high risk for heart attack or stroke. In this intervention study the subjects who received 265 mg (400) IU of vitamin E daily did not experience significantly fewer cardiovascular events or hospitalizations for heart failure or chest pain when compared to those who received a sugar pill. The researchers suggested that it is unlikely that the vitamin E supplement provided any protection against cardiovascular disease in the HOPE study. This study is continuing, to determine whether a longer duration of intervention with vitamin E supplements will provide any protection against cardiovascular disease.

Furthermore, meta analysis of several trials of antioxidants, including vitamin E, have not shown any benefit to vitamin E supplementation for preventing coronary heart disease.[18] According to a highly controversial study, vitamin E supplementation may increase the risk for heart failure.[19]

Orthomolecular and naturopathic medicine use much different types of vitamin E, the natural mixed tocopherols, and other supportive cofactors such as, selenium, vitamin C, carnitine, lysine, and co-Q10 for various cardiovascular diseases.[20][21] See also Orthomolecular medicine:Vitamin E controversy. Orthomolecular medicine and optimum nutrition are controversial medical and health approaches[1] that posit that many diseases and abnormalities result from various chemical imbalances or deficiencies and can be prevented, treated, or sometimes cured by achieving optimal levels of naturally occurring chemical substances, such as vitamins, dietary minerals, enzymes, antioxidants...

Vitamin E and cancer

Antioxidants such as vitamin E help protect against the damaging effects of free radicals, which may contribute to the development of chronic diseases such as cancer. Vitamin E also may block the formation of nitrosamines, which are carcinogens formed in the stomach from nitrites consumed in the diet. It also may protect against the development of cancers by enhancing immune function. To date, human trials and surveys that have tried to associate vitamin E with incidence of cancer remain generally inconclusive. An antioxidant is a chemical that prevents the oxidation of other chemicals. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... The hazard symbol for carcinogenic chemicals in the Globally Harmonized System. ... // Definition The nitrite ion is NO2−. A nitrite compound is one that contains this group, either an ionic compound, or an analogous covalent one. ...

Some evidence associates higher intake of vitamin E with a decreased incidence of prostate cancer (see ATBC study) and breast cancer. Some studies correlate additional cofactors, such as specific vitamin E isomers, e.g. gamma-tocopherol, and other nutrients, e.g. selenium, with dramatic risk reductions in prostate cancer.[22] However, an examination of the effect of dietary factors, including vitamin E, on incidence of postmenopausal breast cancer in over 18,000 women from New York State did not associate a greater vitamin E intake with a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. A study of the effect on lung cancer in smokers also showed no benefit.[23] Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. ... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... Se redirects here. ... Prostate cancer is a disease in which cancer develops in the prostate, a gland in the male reproductive system. ... Breast cancer is cancer of breast tissue. ... Lung cancer is the malignant transformation and expansion of lung tissue, and is the most lethal of all cancers worldwide, responsible for 1. ...

A study of women in Iowa provided evidence that an increased dietary intake of vitamin E may decrease the risk of colon cancer, especially in women under 65 years of age.[citation needed] On the other hand, vitamin E intake was not statistically associated with risk of colon cancer in almost 2,000 adults with cancer who were compared to controls without cancer.[clarify][citation needed] At this time there is limited evidence to recommend vitamin E supplements for the prevention of cancer. Diagram of the stomach, colon, and rectum Colorectal cancer includes cancerous growths in the colon, rectum and appendix. ...

Vitamin E and cataracts

A cataract is a condition of clouding of the tissue of the lens of the eye. They increase the risk of disability and blindness in aging adults. Antioxidants are being studied to determine whether they can help prevent or delay cataract growth. Observational studies have found that lens clarity, which is used to diagnose cataracts, was better in regular users of vitamin E supplements and in persons with higher blood levels of vitamin E. A study of middle aged male smokers, however, did not demonstrate any effect from vitamin E supplements on the incidence of cataract formation. The effects of smoking, a major risk factor for developing cataracts, may have overridden any potential benefit from the vitamin E, but the conflicting results also indicate a need for further studies before researchers can confidently recommend extra vitamin E for the prevention of cataracts. It is important to note that the term "cataract" may be used in common parlance for an opacity involving any tissue of the eye, for example a corneal scar. Thus a character in theater or on television who is blind from cataracts might have white instead of clear corneas, covering over the iris and pupil. Since the lens is behind the pupil, real cataracts are difficult to see without special instrumentation, so people with cataracts have rather normally appearing eyes.

Vitamin E and Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)

Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of visual impairment and blindness in the United States and the developed world among people 65 years and older. It has been shown that Vitamin E alone does not attenuate the development or progression of AMD. [24]

However, studies focusing on efficacy of Vitamin E combined with other antioxidants, like zinc and Vitamin C, indicate a protective effect against the onset and progression of AMD [25][26][27]

Vitamin E and Alzheimer's disease

Alzheimer's disease is a wasting disease of the brain. An observational trial conducted by The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health found that when vitamin E is taken daily in large doses (400-1000IU) in combination with vitamin C (500-1000mg) the onset of Alzheimer's was reduced between 64 and 78%.[28] For other uses, see Vitamin C (disambiguation). ...

Vitamin E and Parkinson's disease

In May 2005, The Lancet Neurology published a study suggesting that vitamin E may help protect against Parkinson's disease. Individuals with moderate to high intakes of dietary vitamin E were found to have a lower risk of Parkinson's. No conclusion was drawn about whether supplemental vitamin E has the same effect, however.[29] The Lancet is one of the oldest and most respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, published weekly by Elsevier, part of Reed Elsevier. ...

Use As MRI Markers

Vitamin E capsules are sometimes used as visible markers in magnetic resonance imaging.[citation needed] Magnetic Resonance Image showing a median sagittal cross section through a human head. ...

See also

Alkylresorcinols Alkylresorcinols are phenolic lipids present in high amounts in the bran layer (e. ...


  1. ^ Merck Index, 11th Edition, 9931.
  2. ^ J. Bauernfeind in: L. J. Machlin (ed.): Vitamin E – A Comprehensive Treatise, Marcel Dekker, New York 1980, p. 99
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  17. ^ Pizzorno JE, Murray MT (November 2005) Textbook of Natural Medicine, 3rd edition, Churchill Livingstone, ISBN 0-443-07300-7, pg 1942 Vitamin K and C, when used together, have shown considerable clinical efficacy, with 91% of patients in one study showing complete remission of nausea and vomiting within 72 hours. Both vitamins alone show little effect.
  18. ^ Vivekananthan D, Penn M, Sapp S, Hsu A, Topol E (2003). "Use of antioxidant vitamins for the prevention of cardiovascular disease: meta-analysis of randomised trials.". Lancet 361 (9374): 2017-23. PMID 12814711. 
  19. ^ Lonn E, Bosch J, Yusuf S, Sheridan P, Pogue J, Arnold J, Ross C, Arnold A, Sleight P, Probstfield J, Dagenais G (2005). "Effects of long-term vitamin E supplementation on cardiovascular events and cancer: a randomized controlled trial.". JAMA 293 (11): 1338-47. PMID 15769967. 
  20. ^ Saul A. Shute Vitamin E Treatment Protocol. DoctorYourSelf.com
  21. ^ Saul A. Congestive Heart Failure. DoctorYourSelf.com, 2003.
  22. ^ Helzlsouer K, Huang H, Alberg A, Hoffman S, Burke A, Norkus E, Morris J, Comstock G (2000). "Association between alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, selenium, and subsequent prostate cancer". J Natl Cancer Inst 92 (24): 2018-23. PMID 11121464. 
  23. ^ (1994) "The effect of vitamin E and beta carotene on the incidence of lung cancer and other cancers in male smokers. The Alpha-Tocopherol, Beta Carotene Cancer Prevention Study Group". N Engl J Med 330 (15): 1029-35. PMID 8127329. 
  24. ^ Taylor H, Tikellis G, Robman L, McCarty C, McNeil J (2002). "Vitamin E supplementation and macular degeneration: randomised controlled trial". BMJ 325 (7354): 11. PMID 12098721. 
  25. ^ (2001) "A randomized, placebo-controlled, clinical trial of high-dose supplementation with vitamins C and E, beta carotene, and zinc for age-related macular degeneration and vision loss: AREDS report no. 8". Arch Ophthalmol 119 (10): 1417-36. PMID 11594942. 
  26. ^ van Leeuwen R, Boekhoorn S, Vingerling J, Witteman J, Klaver C, Hofman A, de Jong P (2005). "Dietary intake of antioxidants and risk of age-related macular degeneration". JAMA 294 (24): 3101-7. PMID 16380590. 
  27. ^ Moriarty-Craige S, Adkison J, Lynn M, Gensler G, Bressler S, Jones D, Sternberg P (2005). "Antioxidant supplements prevent oxidation of cysteine/cystine redox in patients with age-related macular degeneration". Am J Ophthalmol 140 (6): 1020-6. PMID 16376645. 
  28. ^ Johns Hopkins press release
  29. ^ BBC News

External links

  Results from FactBites:
Tocopherol - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2771 words)
There is an alpha, beta, gamma and delta form of both the tocopherols and tocotrienols, determined by the number of methyl groups on the chromanol ring.
Synthetic vitamin E, usually marked as d,l-tocopherol or d,l tocopheryl acetate, with 50% d-alpha tocopherol moiety and 50% l-alpha-tocopherol moiety, as synthesized by an earlier process is now actually manufactured as all-racemic alpha tocopherol, with only about one alpha tocopherol molecule in 8 molecules as actual d-alpha tocpherol.
Because only alpha tocopherols were officially counted as "vitamin E" in supplements, refiners and manufacturers faced enormous economic pressure to esterify and methylate the other natural tocopherol isomers, d-beta-, d-gamma- and d-delta-tocopherol into d-alpha tocopheryl acetate or succinate.
Le Magazine, April 2006 - Report: What Makes Gamma Tocopherol Superior To Alpha Tocopherol (1413 words)
While the alpha tocopherol form of vitamin E has long been valued as a potent antioxidant, its little-known cousin, gamma tocopherol, may be equally important in promoting health and protecting against disease.
Unlike alpha tocopherol, gamma tocopherol is a potent defender against disease-provoking compounds in the body known as reactive nitrogen oxides.
Gamma tocopherol has distinctive chemical properties that differentiate it from alpha tocopherol and may explain the observed differences in the biological effects of these two forms of vitamin E. One of these differences makes gamma tocopherol a more effective trap for reactive nitrogen oxides,15,16 toxic compounds that must be removed from the body.
  More results at FactBites »



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