Vitamin E (tocopherol) molecule

Vitamin E (tocopherol) molecule

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Credit: DR MARK J. WINTER/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Vitamin E. Molecular model of the tocopherol form of vitamin E. Its chemical formula is C29.H50.O2. Atoms are represented as balls and are colour- coded: carbon (blue), hydrogen (gold) and oxygen (red). Vitamin E is found in vegetable and animal fats. It protects unsaturated fat from oxidation and is thus thought to stabilise cell membranes. It is essential for fertility and reproduction. Deficiency is rare, as the dietary supply of vitamin E group chemicals is normally easy to obtain and the compounds have a long residence time in the body.

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