Name: α-tocopherol; vitamin E; (2R)-2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-[(4R,8R)-(4,8,12-trimethyltridecyl)]-6-chromanol
CAS Number: 59-02-9
Molar Mass: 430.7061 g
Mass Percent: C 80.869 %; H 11.701 %; O 7.4293 %
• "Vitamin E deficiency disorders are rare in humans. The vast majority of people get all the vitamin E they need in their daily diets. Three groups of people may, however, require vitamin E supplements. The first group consists of individuals who are unable to absorb fat in their diets, so that the vitamin E they ingest is immediately eliminated from their bodies. The second group consists of a small fraction of people who have genetic disorders them to utilize α-tocopherol. The third group of individuals consist of premature and very young babies. All babies are born deficient in vitamin E, but they normally overcome that deficiency in the first few weeks of their lives. Premature babies and some babies born at term may experience a variety of health problems as a result of vitamin E deficiency. Lack of normal reflexes, inability to orient itself, muscle weakness, and loss of balance are typical symptoms of vitamin E deficiency in babies. Deficiency problems for individuals in all three groups can be overcome by taking supplementary vitamin E.
In addition to its use as a vitamin supplement for normal individuals and those at risk for vitamin E deficiency, the tocopherols have a few other uses:
In the curing of metal to block the action of nitrosamines, a group of compound that occurs naturally in meats and may be carcinogenic;
As an additive to animal feed to replace vitamins lost during feed processing; and
As a food additive in vegetable oils and shortening to prevent oxidation (spoilage)." 1
• "Most bioactive of the naturally occurring forms of vitamin E…As an antioxidant in vegetable oils and shortening." 2
For More Information
(1) - Schlager, Neil, Weisblatt, Jayne, Newton, David E., and Montney, Charles B. Chemical Compounds Vol. 1; Thomson-Gale: Detroit, MI, 2006; pp 39-40.
(2) - The Merck Index: An Encyclopedia of Chemicals, Drugs, and Biologicals, 13th ed.; Budavari, S.; O'Neil, M.J.; Smith, A.; Heckelman, P. E.; Kinneary, J. F., Eds.; Merck & Co.: Whitehouse Station, NJ, 2001; entry 9571.