tocopherol

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tocopherol:

see vitaminvitamin,
group of organic substances that are required in the diet of humans and animals for normal growth, maintenance of life, and normal reproduction. Vitamins act as catalysts; very often either the vitamins themselves are coenzymes, or they form integral parts of coenzymes.
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Tocopherol

 

any vitamin of the E group. Tocopherols are similar in chemical structure and are contained in large quantities in vegetable oils. Eight tocopherols that have vitamin activity are known; they are designated by the Greek letters et, β, 7, and so on. Although only a tocopherol, which is the most active, was formerly considered to be vitamin E, the term subsequently came to include the entire group of natural and synthetic tocopherols, which have the activity of α-tocopherol to varying degrees (α-tocopherol was discovered in the 1920’s and was extracted in pure form in 1936; P. Karrer synthesized it chemically in 1938).

Chemically, tocopherols are derivatives of chromane (a two-ring aromatic system) combined with an isoprenoid side chain. Tocopherols are transparent, oily liquids that are soluble only in organic solvents; they remain stable upon heating. They are widespread in nature but are synthesized only by plants. Animals and man obtain them from food. The highest tocopherol content is found in the germs of cereals and in the oils extracted from them. With a normal diet, E avitaminosis and hypovitaminosis occur rarely. Insufficient intake of vitamin E in experimental animals leads to sterility, muscular dystrophy, disorders of the central nervous system, increased hemolysis, and hypothyroidism. Tocopherol deficiency causes increased permeability or complete disintegration of biological membranes, including the membranes of the mitochondria and lysosomes. It is assumed that one of the functions of tocopherols in cells is to prevent the formation of peroxides from unsaturated fatty acids—that is, to play the role of natural antioxidants. In many cases, pathological symptoms that result from a tocopherol-deficient diet may be eliminated or prevented by certain antioxidants. The biochemical functions of tocopherols are also associated with tissue respiration processes.

Tocopherols are used in medicine to treat certain nervous, skin, gynecological, and cardiovascular disorders. Supplements added to animal feeds sharply reduce miscarriages in cows and eliminate motor disorders and paralyses in young birds. Tocopherols are used as natural antioxidants to stabilize vitamins A and D and to prevent vegetable oils from becoming rancid.

REFERENCE

Shaternikov, V. A. “Vitamin E.” In Vitaminy. Moscow, 1974. Chapter 5.

N. N. ZAITSEVA

tocopherol

[tə′käf·ə‚röl]
(organic chemistry)
Any of several substances having vitamin E activity that occur naturally in certain oils; α-tocopherol possesses the highest biological activity.
References in periodicals archive ?
Micromolar is a measure of the amount of gamma-tocopherol per liter volume of blood plasma.
114) Also, selenium's efficacy could potentially be enhanced: one study observed the protective effects of high selenium levels against prostate cancer only when the concentrations of gamma-tocopherol, an isomer of vitamin E, were also high--suggesting that these two nutrients may work best together.
Gamma-tocopherol, but not [alpha]-tocopherol, decreases proinflammatory eicosanoids and inflammation damage in rats.
Parker suspected that urine--not bile or skin cells--was also the chief pathway for ridding the body of the gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E.
At the same time, certain nitrogenous compounds increased, suggesting that the gamma-tocopherol was trapping nitrogen oxides.
8% average increase in flow-mediated dilation by the end of one week, supplementation with gamma-tocopherol resulted in a 4.
Following the test meals composed of whole pecans and blended pecans, researchers found that amounts of gamma-tocopherols (vitamin E) in the body doubled eight hours after both meals, and oxygen radical absorbance capabilities (ORAC-a scientific method for measuring antioxidant power in the blood) increased 12 and 10 percent respectively two hours after the meals.
Walnuts are also a good whole food source of protein, fiber and antioxidants ellagic acid, melatonin and gamma-tocopherol.
When giving L-arginine or nitroglycerin directly, add vitamin E 1:1 high gamma-tocopherol and-or CoQ10 and consider adding the glutathione precursors of dimethylglycine, glutamine, and cysteine or NAC.
In this study, researchers tested the effects of the gamma-tocopherol form.
However; if you are expecting tens or hundreds of milligrams of other vitamin E antioxidant compounds such as gamma-tocopherol, products cost more--starting at about 20 to 30 cents per 400 IU.
The researchers note in today's (May 20) issue of the Journal of Nutrition that "pistachios are high in lutein, beta-carotene and gamma-tocopherol relative to other nuts; however, studies of the effects of pistachios on oxidative status are lacking.