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Biochem Mol Biol Int. 1999 Mar;47(3):509-18.

Uptake of vitamin E succinate by the skin, conversion to free vitamin E, and transport to internal organs.

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  • 1Department of Biochemistry, Faculty of Medicine, University of Western Ontario, London, Canada.


The percent solubility at 34 degrees C (skin temperature) of radioactive tocopherol succinate was determined for a number of edible oils, and a semisynthetic oil, Myritol 318 (Henkel, Kankakee, IL, a medium chain triglyceride prepared from fractionated coconut oil). Its solubility in Myritol 318 was approximately 50% better than any of the other oils. 14C-tocopherol succinate was diluted (1) into pure Myritol 318, a cosmetic base or (2) 50% tocopherol succinate in Myritol 318. These preparations were applied topically to a 2 cm diameter circle of the back saddle skin of a hairless mouse (strain skh-1). After 24 hr, up to 65% of the label was absorbed by the skin and was also found in skin removed from areas of the back other than the application area, and internal organs such as liver and heart. Up to 6% was hydrolysed to free tocopherol. Topical treatment may be an alternative to oral administration in gastrointestinal malabsorption diseases.

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