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Anal Biochem. 1999 Nov 15;275(2):254-9.

Quantification of the alpha- and gamma-tocopherol metabolites 2,5,7, 8-tetramethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman and 2,7, 8-trimethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman in human serum.

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Institut für Physiologische Chemie I, Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf, Germany.


alpha- and gamma-tocopherol are the major vitamin E compounds found in human blood and tissues. The metabolites are 2,5,7, 8-tetramethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman (alpha-CEHC) and 2,7,8-trimethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman (gamma-CEHC, LLU-alpha), respectively. alpha-CEHC is excreted mainly as glucuronide or sulfate conjugates in the urine. Here we describe a sensitive and reliable method to analyze alpha- and gamma-CEHC in human serum. The concentration of alpha-CEHC in human serum is in the range of 5-10 pmol/ml but increases significantly up to 200 pmol/ml upon supplementation with RRR-alpha-tocopherol. About one-third of the alpha-CEHC circulating in the blood is present as a glucuronide conjugate. Baseline levels of gamma-CEHC are about 50 to 85 pmol/ml.

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