ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Vitamin E. Polarised light micrograph of crystals of vitamin E (tocopherol). This is an essential vitamin for fertility and reproduction. Its structure is that of the tocopherols, methylated derivatives of tocol. The alpha form of tocopherol is properly known as 5,7,8-trimethyltocol; this alpha form has the strongest vitamin E activity. Vitamin E is widely distributed in vegetable lipids and the body fat in animals; the richest sources are seed embryos and their oils, and green leaves. The vitamin protects unsaturated fats from oxidation. As tocopherol is widely distributed in the diet, vitamin E deficiency is rare. Magnification: x26 at 6x7cm size.
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