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Eur J Nutr. 2002 Jun;41(3):119-24.

Tocopherol metabolites 2, 5, 7, 8-tetramethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman (alpha-CEHC) and 2, 7, 8-trimethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman (gamma-CEHC) in human serum after a single dose of natural vitamin E.

Author information

1
Institute of Physiological Chemistry I, Heinrich-Heine University, P. O. Box 101007, 40001 Düsseldorf, Germany.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

alpha- and gamma-Tocopherol are vitamin E compounds in human blood and tissues. alpha-CEHC (2,5,7,8-tetramethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman) and gamma-CEHC (2,7,8-trimethyl-2-(2'-carboxyethyl)-6-hydroxychroman) have been identified as water-soluble metabolites which are excreted with the urine in humans.

AIM OF THE STUDY:

To assess over-time changes of serum levels of alpha- and gamma-CEHC in humans after a single dose of vitamin E from a natural source.

METHODS:

Twenty-one healthy subjects ingested a single dose of vitamin E (306 mg of RRR-alpha-tocopherol and 1.77 mg of gamma-tocopherol). Blood was collected before (baseline) and 2, 6, 12, 24, 35, 50, and 74 h after ingestion. Serum was separated and levels of alpha- and gamma-tocopherol and alpha- and gamma-CEHC were determined by HPLC.

RESULTS:

After vitamin E ingestion, a statistically significant increase was observed for alpha-tocopherol and alpha-CEHC. Maximum serum levels for both compounds were measured 12 h after application (33.3 +/- 11.1 micromol alpha-toco-pherol /L and 42.4 +/- 18.3 nmol alpha-CEHC /L); baseline values were reached again after 72 h. While gamma-tocopherol levels decreased during the study period, an increase in the metabolite gamma-CEHC was observed. The optical isomer formed in the metabolism of RRR-alpha-tocopherol was assigned as S-alpha-CEHC.

CONCLUSIONS:

alpha-CEHC levels increase after administration of a single dose of natural vitamin E in humans. The appearance of the metabolite in blood parallels that of the parent compound. The gamma-tocopherol analog appears to be metabolized more efficiently than alpha-tocopherol.

PMID:
12111049
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-002-0365-3
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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