The article reviews scientific information about the structure, metabolism and physiological functions of vitamin E. The article also gives an overview about the prevention and treatment of some disorders using vitamin E.
One of the main functions of vitamin E is its anti-oxidative action. Vitamin E inhibits the peroxidation of membrane lipids and blood lipoproteins. According to the data of many studies, tocopherols, especially a- and y-tocopherols, show significant antioxidative effect on lowdenlipoproteins. Recent data suggest that tocopherols also have an antioxidative effect on very low density lipoproteins but increase oxidation of high-density lipoproteins. This could explain the coniroversy about the effectiveness of tocopherols for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases. It has been shown that a- and y-tocotrienols inhibit the synthesis of triglycerides in the liver and also inhibit the exit of triglycerides from the liver to the blood stream as a compound of very low density lipoproteins.
Because of antioxidative features, vitamin E is used in prevention and treatment of various disorders associated with oxidative stress. Anticarcinogenic action has been reported to be characteristic of tocopherols, especially y- and S-tocopherols, and tocotrienols. Patients with diabetes suffer from cardiovascular complications, such as atherosclerosis. It has been demonstrated that vitamin E decreases progression of cardiovascular diseases of Hp 2-2 genotype patients and helps to prevent the complications of diabetes. Vitamin E is used for treatment of chronic kidney diseases and steatohepatitis.
The article also provides a brief overview of the deficiencies of vitamin E.
Keywords: tocopherol, tocotrienol, anti-oxidative, lipoprotein, oxidative stress.