An anti-oxidant, plays a role in the body's ability to utilize oxygen.
Protects all the other fat soluble vitamins against oxidation.
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin collective named for a set of related tocopherols and corresponding tocotrienols.
The term vitamin E covers all eight fat-soluble compounds found in nature. Four of them are tocopherols and the other tocotrienols. They are each identified by the prefixes α, β, γ and δ. α-Tocopherol is the most common and biologically the most active of these naturally occurring forms of vitamin E. Natural tocopherols occur in RRR-configuration only (RRR-α-tocopherol was formerly designated as d-α-tocopherol).
The alpha- and gamma-tocopherol are the forms most often consumed. The alpha-tocopherol form maybe the only form that circulates throughout the blood to reach all the body tissues.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant that prevents premature reaction of oxygen in the body, prevents breakdown of many substances in the body. Vitamin E is an important welltrient in cellular respiration of muscles, especially the cardiac muscle, as an anti-oxidant Vitamin E prevents peroxide formation.
Vitamin E is essential to the use of oxygen by muscles, helps improve circulation and promotes normal clotting and healing. Prolongs life of red blood cells.
Vitamin E prolongs the life of red blood cells and promotes cell respiration and is reported to be the anti-aging vitamin. In addition, Vitamin E helps minimize scarring and assists in the healing of wounds, retards blood clotting, keeps youthful elasticity in tissues and alleviates hot flashes and menopausal distress.
Vitamin E is important because it helps to protect against many of the complications often developed in individuals with type 2 diabetes. For example, people with diabetes have a greater risk of developing vascular complications such as atherosclerosis, intermittent claudication, peripheral neuropathy, and retinopathy. Vitamin E may be helpful in the prevention and treatment of these conditions.
Vitamin E reduces scar tissue formation both internally and externally, increases formation of new blood vessels around damaged areas, stimulates urine secretion, hence has a lowering effect on some instances of blood pressure, provides protection against poisonous substances such as inhalants and internal by-products of metabolism, assist in normalizing blood viscosity, retards muscle degeneration, protects and ensures permeability of the capillary system.
In one study, men with the lowest plasma levels of vitamin E had nearly a 4 times greater incidence of developing type 2, or non-insulin dependent diabetes. The results of this study suggest that low levels of it may be one of the contributing causes of type 2 diabetes. In another study, individuals who had type 2 diabetes, found that vitamin E supplementation (900mg/day for 4 months) helped improve the action of insulin and glucose tolerance.
Hart and coworkers publish the first report of a suspected “anti-sterility factor” in animals.
Matthill and Conklin observe reproductive anomalies in rats fed on special milk diets.
Vitamin E was first discovered in 1922 by 2 researchers at the University of California in Berkeley, Dr. Herbert M. Evans, a research physician, and his assistant, Katherine Scott Bishop.
They were feeding rats a special semipurified diet. The rats would grow very well, but for all female pregnancies, the pups would die in the womb. When the rat’s diet was supplemented with lettuce, then later with wheat germ, healthy pups were born. Something must be missing from the diet, but what? Evans and Bishop initially decided to call it "Factor X". The research continued, until they found Factor X was in the lipid extract of lettuce—so they knew that the mysterious substance must be fat soluble.
It was named vitamin E in 1924. Since it was discovered that it aided in animal offspring, it was scientifically named tocopherol. This comes from the Greek word tokos meaning childbirth, and phero meaning to bring forth, and the ol ending was added to indicate the alcohol properties of this molecule.
In 1936 Dr. Evans and his group isolated an alcohol compound that appeared to be vitamin E. They proposed the correct chemical formula for α-tocopherol in its pure form from wheat germ oil.
In 1937, Dr. Evans isolated beta and gamma tocopherols..
Fernholz provides the structural formula of vitamin E and Nobel laureate Karrer synthesises dl-α-tocopherol.
Dam and coworkers discover peroxides in the fat tissue of animals fed on vitamin E-deficient diets. The first antioxidant theory of vitamin E activity is proposed.
Tappel proposes that vitamin E acts as an in vivo antioxidant to protect cell lipids from free radicals.
The Food and Nutrition Board of the US National Research Council recognizes vitamin E as an essential nutrient for humans.
Fahrenholtz proposes singlet oxygen quenching abilities of α-tocopherol.
Human vitamin E deficiency syndromes are described.
Walton and Packer propose that vitamin E may prevent the generation of potentially carcinogenic oxidative products of unsaturated fatty acids.
McKay and King suggest that vitamin E functions as an antioxidant located primarily in the cell membrane.
Vitamin E is demonstrated to be the major lipid-soluble antioxidant protecting cell membranes from peroxidation. Vitamin E is shown to stabilise the superoxide and hydroxyl free radicals.
Effectiveness of vitamin E in inhibiting LDL (low density lipoprotein) oxidation is shown.
Kaiser and coworkers elucidate the singlet oxygen quenching capability of vitamin E.
Azzi and coworkers describe an inhibitory effect of α-tocopherol on the proliferation of vascular smooth muscle cells and protein kinase C activity.
Barella and coworkers demonstrate that vitamin E regulates gene expression in the liver and the testes of rats.
The chemical formula of alpha tocopherol is C29H5002. At least 8 compounds having vitamin E activity have been isolated from plant sources. All have a 6-chromonal ring structure and a side chain. The tocols have a phytol side chain, whereas the trienols have a similar structure, with double bonds at the 3', 7', and 11' positions of the side chain. Both tocols and trienols occur as a variety of isomers which differ from one another by the number and location of methyl groups on the chromonal ring. Alpha tocopherol is the most active form and the side chain is essential for full biological activity of vitamin E.
Vitamin E is comes from (soybeans, peas, beans), spinach, green and red peppers, some leafy green vegetables, nuts and seeds, sunflower seeds, soybean oil, safflower oil, vegetable oils,
wheat germ, eggs, peanuts, unrefined cereal products, and whole wheat and other wholegrain products, beef liver, meat, milk, molasses.
Vitamin E protects Vitamin A from destruction in the body and unsaturated fats from abnormal breakdown. Also Vitamin B-Complex, B-1, Inositol, Vitamin C, Manganese, Selenium
Deficiency Signs or Symptoms:
First clinical sign of deficiency is the rupturing of the red blood cells.
Faulty absorption of fat and fat soluble vitamins. Evidence shows a link between this condition and the development of cystic fibrosis and inflammation of the pancreas.
Retarded growth in children.
Nutritional muscular dystrophy.
Swelling of the cardiac muscles, which can become necrotic.
Women severely deficient experience frequent miscarriages, as well as premature births.
Menstrual discomfort and PMS.
In males, a reduced mobility of spermatozoa.
In females, uterine degeneration, and in some cases, sterility.
Neurologic syndromes including areflexia, gait disturbances, paresis of gaze. May contribute to hemolytic anemia and retrolental fibroplasia in premature infants.
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