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J Org Chem. 2002 Dec 27;67(26):9295-303.

A quantitative approach to the recycling of alpha-tocopherol by coantioxidants.

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  • 1Dipartimento di Chimica Organica, A. Mangini, Universit√† di Bologna, Via S. Donato 15, I-40127 Bologna, Italy.


A systematic investigation is reported on the regeneration of alpha-tocopherol (alpha-TOH) in homogeneous solution by coantioxidants in order to better understand the mechanism and the factors responsible for the effectiveness of this process. The current availability of thermochemical data concerning the reactants involved in the regeneration reactions, as well as a large number of the kinetic constants for the various reactions involved, allowed us to rationalize the experimental observations collected so far. Three limiting cases have been considered. The first case is that of a coantioxidant irreversibly regenerating alpha-TOH, where the effectiveness of the recycling process depends on the magnitude of the rate constant k(r). The second case is that of a coantioxidant reversibly recycling alpha-TOH, where regeneration can only be observed if the bond dissociation enthalpy value of the coantioxidant is lower or at least close to that of the O-H bond of alpha-tocopherol. The third case is that of a catechol derivative (chosen as a model compound for polyphenolic antioxidants), where recycling of alpha-TOH is feasible even though the BDE value is significantly higher than that of vitamin E. In this case, the driving force for the recycling process is the removal of the semiquinone radical from the catechol derivative by the alpha-tocopheroxyl radical, which makes the regeneration of alpha-TOH practically irreversible.

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