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Vitamin E molecule

Vitamin E molecule

A614/0003

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Credit

SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SCOTT CAMAZINE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Vitamin E. Computer graphic of a molecule of alpha-tocopherol. This molecule has the strongest Vitamin E activity of all tocopherol molecules. The alpha form is properly known as 5,7,8- trimethyltocol (C29.H50.O2). Colour-coded atoms are as follows: carbon (green), hydrogen (blue), oxygen (red). Vitamin E is widely distributed in vegetable lipids and the body fat of animals. It protects unsaturated fat from oxidation, and is thus thought to stabilise cell membranes. It is essential for fertility and reproduction. Vitamin E deficiency is rare, as the dietary supply of Vitamin E group chemicals is normally easy to obtain and has a long residence time in the body.

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