Uses:E306 is an antioxidant for polyunsaturated fatty acids in tissue fats and is used in meat pies, desert toppings and vegetable oils as well as a vitamin supplement. Has a greater antioxidant effect than gamma-tocopherolE308in animals but not in cells or non-biological matter. It also protects other nutrients, such as Vitamin A, from oxidation but is largely destroyed by freezing.
Commercially it can be extracted, by distillation in a vacuum, from cottonseed, maize, rice germ, soya bean oil, wheat germ, or green leaves and may, therefore, come from Genetically Modified sources.
Description: Vitamin E, known as the anti-sterility vitamin - from the Greek tokos (child) and pherein (bear), is fat-soluble and is a mixture of alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherols. Although eight chemically similar substances have Vitamin E activity, alpha-tocopherol is the most active of these with 100%, followed by beta- (15-40%), gamma- (1-20% then delta (1%).
Found in most foods, it is abundant in, amongst other things, whole grain cereals, corn and cottonseed oils, egg yolks, meat and milk. (See also E307, E308 and E309).
Tocopherols are essential to the life of red blood cells and helps the supply of oxygen to the heart and muscles. Its requirement is increased by high intakes of polyunsaturated fats but, as the body stores about a year's supply, Vitamin E deficiency that produces signs and symptoms is rare.
It is possible that generous intakes protect cell membranes from oxidation damage and consequent degenerative diseases.