Gamma-Tocopherol – An Underestimated Vitamin?Wagner K.-H. · Kamal-Eldin A. · Elmadfa I.
aInstitute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria; bDepartment of Food Science, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Uppsala, Sweden
The main research activities of the last decades on tocopherols were mainly focused on α-tocopherol, in particular when considering the biological activities. However, recent studies have increased the knowledge on γ-tocopherol, which is the major form of vitamin E in the diet in the USA, but not in Europe. γ-Tocopherol provides different antioxidant activities in food and in-vitro studies and showed higher activity in trapping lipophilic electrophiles and reactive nitrogen and oxygen species. The lower plasma levels of γ- compared to α-tocopherol might be discussed in the light of different bioavailability, but also in a potential transformation from γ- into α-tocopherol. From the metabolism end product, only that of γ-tocopherol (2,7,8-trimethyl-2-(β-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman), but not that of α-tocopherol, was identified to provide natriuretic activity. Studies also indicate that only the γ-tocopherol plasma level served as biomarker for cancer and cardiovascular risk. Therefore, this paper provides a comprehensive review on γ-tocopherol with emphasis on its chemistry, biosynthesis, occurrence in food, different intake linking to different plasma levels in USA and Europe, absorption and metabolism, biological activities, and possible role in human health.
Institute of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna
AT–1090 Vienna (Austria)
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Published online: July 12, 2004
Number of Print Pages : 20
Number of Figures : 6, Number of Tables : 4, Number of References : 160
Annals of Nutrition & Metabolism (European Journal of Nutrition, Metabolic Diseases and Dietetics)
Founded 1959 as ’Nutritio et Dieta‘ by E. Azerad, H. Kapp and J. Trémolières
Official Journal of the Federation of European Nutrition Societies (FENS)
Vol. 48, No. 3, Year 2004 (Cover Date: May-June)
Journal Editor: I. Elmadfa, Vienna
ISSN: 0250–6807 (print), 1421–9697 (Online)
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