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Chapter: Introduction to Human Nutrition: The Vitamins

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Interactions of Vitamin E with other nutrients

Vitamin C in plasma and extracellular fluid is important in reducing the tocopheroxyl radical in cell membranes and plasma lipoproteins back to tocopherol.

Interactions with other nutrients


Vitamin C in plasma and extracellular fluid is important in reducing the tocopheroxyl radical in cell membranes and plasma lipoproteins back to tocopherol. There is also evidence that a variety of lipid-soluble antioxidants may be important in the antioxidant action of vitamin E in membranes and lipoproteins, including ubiquinone and synthetic antioxidants used in food processing, such as butyl-ated hydroxytoluene and butylated hydroxyanisole. Synthetic antioxidants will prevent or cure a number of the signs of vitamin E deficiency in experimental animals.

 

There is a considerable overlap between the func-tions of vitamin E and selenium. Vitamin E reduces lipid peroxide radicals to unreactive fatty acids; the selenium-dependent enzyme glutathione peroxidase reduces hydrogen peroxide to water, thus lowering the intracellular concentration of potentially lipid-dam-aging peroxide. A membrane-specific isoenzyme of glutathione peroxidase will also reduce the tocopher-oxyl radical back to tocopherol. Thus, vitamin E acts to remove the products of lipid peroxidation, whereas selenium acts both to remove the cause of lipid per-oxidation and to recycle vitamin E.


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