Vitamin E is a liposoluble compound which belongs to the isoprene group. Eight different naturally occurring substances are found to have vitamin E properties. Four of these belong to the tocopherols and four to the tocotrienols:
- Tocopherols are isoprene derivatives with a saturated side chain. Members of the tocopherol group are α, β, γ and δ tocopherol.
- Tocotrienols are isoprene derivatives with an unsaturated side chain. These include α, β, γ and δ Tocotrienol.
The most significant naturally occurring active form is RRR-α-Tocopherol. It has the highest biological activity of all vitamin E forms. The following applies:
- 1,0 mg RRR-α-Tocopherol = 1,0 mg tocopherol equivalent (TE) = 1.49 international units (U).
Functions of vitamin E
- Vitamin E most commonly accumulates in the membranes of the somatic cells and cell organelles. Due to their high concentration of polyunsaturated fatty acids, there are particularly susceptible to oxidisation. Vitamin E plays a part in protecting the cells against oxidative stress.
- As an antioxidant protective factor, vitamin E works closely with vitamin C, ubichinol (coenzyme Q10) and α-lipoic acid.
- Vitamin E is particularly sensitive to oxygen and light. Losses of up to 55 % are to be expected in storage and preparation.
- Many vitamin‑E‑preparations contain fully or semi-synthetic vitamin E forms or a mixture of the two, usually D, L-α-Tocopherol (modern designation: all-rac-α-Tocopherol). This racemic mixture has a significantly lower biological effectiveness than the natural RRR-α-Tocopherol. Vitamin E experts therefore recommend preparations with the natural vitamin E form.
Information on production technology
- INTERCELL Pharma uses the natural RRR-α-Tocopherol form or complex blends of various vitamin E forms, which exhibit a higher antioxidant potential.
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