Tocopherol, a class of chemical compounds of which many have vitamin E activity, Tocopherol describes a series of organic compounds consisting of various methylated phenols. Tocopherol, which are related compounds, may also have vitamin E activity. All of these various derivatives with vitamin activity may correctly be referred to as "vitamin E." Tocopherols and tocotrienols are fat-soluble antioxidants. Gamma-tocopherol, the major form of vitamin E in U.S. diets, and its physiological metabolite trimethyl hydroxychroman, in contrast to alpha-tocopherol, the primary vitamin E in supplements, inhibit cyclooxygenase-catalyzed synthesis of prostaglandin in activated macrophages and epithelial cells. Here we report that in carrageenan-induced inflammation in male Wistar rats, administration of gammaT and gamma-CEHC, but not alphaT, significantly reduced PGE2 synthesis at the site of inflammation.
Tocopherol is another term for “vitamin E” refers to a family of eight related, lipid-soluble, antioxidant compounds widely distributed in plants. The tocopherol and tocotrienol subfamilies are each composed of alpha, beta, gamma, and delta fractions having unique biological effects. Different ratios of these compounds are found in anatomically different parts of a plant. For example, the green parts of a plant contain mostly alpha-tocopherol and the seed germ and bran contain mostly tocotrienols. Along with other nutrients tocopherols and tocotrienols are concentrated in the bran layers of the rye grain, and are only present at low levels in the flour endosperm. Tocopherols are also present in algae, mint teas, and other food stuff. When this family of compounds was first discovered and determined to be essential for health, a standardized test for its activity was devised for which the members of the family were rated for their biological activity. In one test, alpha tocopherol scored highest and was rated 100% with all others having lower ratings.