Vitamin E

by Kevin Ahern, PhD

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    Vitamin E is the second of the fat soluble vitamins I’ll talk about here. Vitamin E, like vitamin K contains many compounds and they’re categorized into two groups known as the tocopherols and the tocotrienols. Within each group, there are various stereoisomers that can occur. This includes both cis trans isomers as well as isomers relating to the stereochemistry. These molecules act like antioxidants and they do this by preventing the proliferation of reactive oxygen species as I will show. Vitamin E inhibits the production of reactive oxygen species by a chemical process, not by an enzymatic process. And this is a very important way that it functions. Vitamin E is the fat-soluble vitamin equivalent of vitamin C, which helps prevent the proliferation of reactive oxygen species in water soluble material. An example of tocopherol and an example of tocotrienol is shown on the right. Now, vitamin E is found most abundantly in wheat germ, sunflowers and safflower oils. It acts counter to vitamin K and that it actually reduces the amount of clotting. So a person who was on Coumadin or warfarin type medication will have to monitor how much vitamin E they’re actually getting in their diet because they can actually be in danger of reducing clotting too significantly if they get too much vitamin E. Now, vitamin E is really the vitamin about which we know the least and the reason for that it is very rarely ever deficient. There are few cases where it’s known for deficiency but not very much. Vitamin E therefore is little benefit to people to take supplements, although a lot of people do take vitamin E supplements. So there are some problems with overdose, but it’s not as severe as an overdose problem as one might have with vitamin A or...

    About the Lecture

    The lecture Vitamin E by Kevin Ahern, PhD is from the course Vitamins. It contains the following chapters:

    • Vitamin E and Vitamin B12
    • α-Tocopherol
    • Vitamin E & Lipid Peroxidation Chain Reaction

    Author of lecture Vitamin E

     Kevin Ahern, PhD

    Kevin Ahern, PhD

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