Antioxidant activity of vitamin E

Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that exists in eight different forms. Each form has its own biological activity, the measure of potency or functional use in the body.

Vitamin E was first discovered in 1922 as a substance necessary for reproduction. Following this discovery, vitamin E was extensively studied, and it has become widely known as a powerful lipid-soluble antioxidant.

 It is actually two sets of four compounds each, the tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta) and the chemically related tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma and delta).

Vitamin E compounds (tocopherols and tocotrienols) are well recognized for their effective inhibition of lipid peroxidation in foods and living cells. Vitamin E is synthesized only by plants: therefore it is a very important dietary nutrient for humans and animals.

α-tocopherol is the most active form of vitamin E in humans, and is a powerful biological antioxidant. It is the major lipid soluble found in cells.

The antioxidative activity of the tocopherols is related to scavenging the free radicals of unsaturated lipids. α -Tocopherol, the most biologically active and abundant form of vitamin E in vivo, efficiently transfers a hydrogen atom to a lipid free radical, such as peroxyl, alkoxyl, and carbon~centered radicals, giving the corresponding non-radical product of the lipid and an α-tocopheroxyl radical.

Free-radical mediated pathology has been implicated in the development of degenerative diseases, conditions and also aging process.
Antioxidant activity of vitamin E
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