What is Gamma-tocopherol?
Gamma-tocopherol is part of the Vitamin E classification group.
The term vitamin E refers to a group of eight naturally occurring compounds, all with different potencies:
– alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol and
– alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienol.
– Gamma-tocopherol is the major form of vitamin E in corn and soybean oils that are a major staple of the American diet. Gamma-tocopherol is low in other oils such as sunflower and olive oil that are more prevalent in European diets.
– The average serum concentrations of Alpha-tocopherol are similar among European and US populations, while serum Gamma-tocopherol levels in United States are 2- to 6-fold higher than levels in Europeans.
Although alpha-tocopherol is the major component in foods and human tissue, the beta, delta and gamma isomers are sometimes included in profiles to show detail of tissue composition.
– One interesting fact about vitamin E is that supplementation with alpha-tocopherol decreases plasma and tissue stores of gamma-tocopherol.
More details on Vitamin E:
– Vitamin E is transported in plasma in the lipoproteins and it serves as the most important membrane protective antioxidant and free radical scavenger in the body.
– Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that has antioxidant properties.
– Vitamin E functions as a chain-breaking antioxidant that prevents the propagation of lipid per-oxidation.
– Alpha-tocopherol and CoQ10 are the primary fat-soluble antioxidants in cell membranes and lipoproteins.
– Vitamin E protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) within membrane phospholipids and in plasma lipoproteins.
– Peroxyl radicals react with vitamin E one thousand times more rapidly than they do with PUFA.
– Vitamin E is transported in plasma in lipoproteins and serves as the most important membrane protective antioxidant and free radical scavenger in the body.
– Experimental vitamin E deficiency is difficult to produce in humans because of the intricate system of checks and balances in the antioxidant cascade. Although symptoms of mild to moderate vitamin E deficiency are subtle, many clinical effects are well documented.
– In general, lipid peroxidation markers are elevated during vitamin E depletion and their levels can be normalized upon vitamin E repletion. However, these markers are not necessarily specific to vitamin E, since changes in intake of other antioxidants can also change the levels of these markers.
– Since patients with hypertriglyceridemia have elevated levels of lipoproteins, vitamin E concentrations also tend to rise, leading to overestimation of vitamin E total body status.
– Vitamin E absorption from the intestinal lumen is dependent upon biliary and pancreatic secretions, micelle formation, uptake into enterocytes, and chylomicron secretion. Defects at any step lead to impaired absorption.
– Deficiency may occur with malabsorption, cholestyramine, colestipol, isoniazid, orlistat, olestra and certain anti-convulsants (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin).
– Deficiency may result in peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, muscle weakness, retinopathy, and increased risk of CVD, prostate cancer and cataracts.
– Food sources include oils (olive, soy, corn, canola, safflower, sunflower), nuts, seeds, spinach, carrots, avocado, dark leafy greens and wheat germ.
– Elevated plasma gamma-tocopherol and decreased alpha-tocopherol in men are associated with inflammatory markers and decreased plasma 25-OH vitamin D.
– Research, published in the journal Respiratory Research, found that gamma tocopherol, the kind in corn, canola and soybean oils, was linked to poor lung function in adults.
– Higher incidences of asthma were associated with higher blood levels of gamma tocopherol in this study.
|Foods rich in vitamin E|
|Food Source||Serving Size||Alpha-tocopherol (mg)||Gamma-tocopherol (mg)|
|Walnuts (English)||1/4 cup||0.21||6.09|
|Sunflower seeds (oil-roasted)||1/4 cup||12.25||0.15|
|Pecans (oil-roasted)||1/4 cup||0.70||6.66|
|Almonds (oil-roasted)||1/4 cup||10.19||0.35|
|Chunky peanut butter||2 tbsp.||2.02||2.55|
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