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structures tocopherol tocotrienol


Vitamin E is a light yellow oil, a fat soluble vitamin, that is actually a family of substances, the tocopherols and tocotrienols, collectively known as « tocols ». They are found in nature in both plant and animals, however, since they are biosynthesized only in photosynthetic organisms, main sources are vegetables and seed or nut oils. There were first isolated from wheat germ oil, which is still a commonly used source of Vitamin E. The primary function of Vitamin E is as an antioxidant. Vitamin E is protective because it helps reduce oxidation of lipid membranes and the unsaturated fatty acids and prevents the breakdown of other nutrients by oxygen. This protective, nutritional antioxidant function is also performed and enhanced by other antioxidants, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, glutathione (L-cysteine), and the mineral selenium.

Since biological activities and chemical properties of substances differ from each other, it is important to be able to determine and to isolate each « tocol » separately. EXTRASYNTHESE has recently developed competitive processes to obtain the full collection of fully qualified analytical standards of tocols, in the natural enantiomeric form, at competitive prices, to allow precise titration work and early stage research activities.

Tableau tocols

 All these reference materials are listed in our Vitamin E derivatives subsection.