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J Agric Food Chem. 2012 Aug 8;60(31):7573-80. doi: 10.1021/jf301756j. Epub 2012 Jul 25.

High levels of α-tocopherol in Norwegian alpine grazing plants.

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Bioforsk - Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, NO-2940 Heggenes, Norway.


Antioxidants prevent oxidation of fatty acids in milk and meat. In the present study, the content of tocopherol antioxidants (vitamin E) in vegetative and reproductive parts of 22 grazing plants was estimated in two alpine areas used for summer farming. The overall mean content of α-tocopherol was 135 ± 34 μg g(-1) DW, and grasses had much lower content (28 ± 11 μg g(-1) DW) than herbs (215 ± 94 μg g(-1) DW), sedges (186 ± 78 μg g(-1) DW), and woody species (178 ± 52 μg g(-1) DW). Highest and lowest species-specific levels were 649 ± 91 and 2 ± 1 μg g(-1) DW, respectively. Plants from light and shady habitats did not differ in their α-tocopherol content, which was idiosyncratic as indicated by significant interactions between species, sampling occasion, site, and tissue type. Our results show that alpine ranges provide fodder with high levels of α-tocopherol.

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