Vitamin E (Tocopherol): Sources, Requirements, Absorption, Deficiency and Functions
Posted on : 25-11-2017 Posted by : Admin



Vitamin E was discovered in 1922 by Herbert McLean Evans and Katharine Scott Bishop. Vitamin E activity is possessed by a number of compounds known as tocopherols. Among these compounds a-tocopherol is known as vitamin E.

Structurally vitamin E contains a dihydrobenzopyran nucleus with an isoprenoid side chain. Many of them are pale yellow oils soluble in fat.


Sources of vitamin E

Wheat germ oil & corn germ oil are the rich natural sources whereas the Vegetable oils and the fats are good sources while Cereals and animal foods are fair sources of vitamin E.


Requirements of vitamin E

The requirement depends mainly on the intake of polyunsaturated fatty acids. All foods which are rich sources of polyunsaturated fatty acids are also rich sources of vitamin E.

There is some evidence that higher intake of vitamin E may have a useful protective effect against the development of ischemic heart disease. This is because high concentrations of vitamin E inhibit thgve oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids in plasma lipoproteins and this oxidation is responsible for the initiation of atherosclerosis


Absorption and storage of vitamin E

Vitamin E is absorbed along with fat in the intestines. It is stored in the liver, muscle and body fat.


Deficiency of vitamin E

Vitamin E deficiency causes the following disorders in animals

  • Reproductive failure
  • Hemolysis of red blood cells
  • Muscular dystrophy


Functions of vitamin E

The following are the functions of Vitamin E

  • The principal role of vitamin E appears to be as an antioxidant. By accepting oxygen, vitamin E can prevent the oxidation of vitamin A in the intestinal tract, thus making vitamin A available for body use.
  • Vitamin E also reduces the oxidation of the poly unsaturated fatty acids, thereby helping to maintain normal cell membrane.
  • It protects the red blood cells against hemolysis.
  • Vitamin E is required by animals and by humans for the normal reproductive processes.
  • It also plays an important protective role during ageing of cells.

1. Write about vitamin E.

2. How can the deficiency of Vitamin E affect human body? How to treat Vitamin E deficiency?

3. Mention the functions of Vitamin E.

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