Optimal Result: 0.5 - 5.5 mg/L.

Gamma-tocopherol is part of the Vitamin E classification group.

The term vitamin E refers to a group of eight naturally occurring compounds, all with different potencies:

– alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocopherol and

– alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta-tocotrienol.

– Gamma-tocopherol is the major form of vitamin E in corn and soybean oils that are a major staple of the American diet. Gamma-tocopherol is low in other oils such as sunflower and olive oil that are more prevalent in European diets.

– The average serum concentrations of Alpha-tocopherol are similar among European and US populations, while serum Gamma-tocopherol levels in United States are 2- to 6-foldhigher than levels in Europeans.

Although alpha-tocopherol is the major component in foods and human tissue, the beta, delta and gamma isomers are sometimes included in profiles to show detail of tissue composition.

– One interesting fact about vitamin E is that supplementation with alpha-tocopherol decreases plasma and tissue stores of gamma-tocopherol.

More details on Vitamin E:

– Vitamin E is transported in plasma in the lipoproteins and it serves as the most important membrane protective antioxidant and free radical scavenger in the body.

– Vitamin E is a fat-soluble vitamin that has antioxidant properties.

– Vitamin E functions as a chain-breaking antioxidant that prevents the propagation of lipid per-oxidation.

– Alpha-tocopherol and CoQ10 are the primary fat-soluble antioxidants in cell membranes and lipoproteins.

– Vitamin E protects polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) within membrane phospholipids and in plasma lipoproteins.

– Peroxyl radicals react with vitamin E one thousand times more rapidly than they do with PUFA.

– Vitamin E is transported in plasma in lipoproteins and serves as the most important membrane protective antioxidant and free radical scavenger in the body.

– Experimental vitamin E deficiency is difficult to produce in humans because of the intricate system of checks and balances in the antioxidant cascade. Although symptoms of mild to moderate vitamin E deficiency are subtle, many clinical effects are well documented.

– In general, lipid peroxidation markers are elevated during vitamin E depletion and their levels can be normalized upon vitamin E repletion. However, these markers are not necessarily specific to vitamin E, since changes in intake of other antioxidants can also change the levels of these markers.

– Since patients with hypertriglyceridemia have elevated levels of lipoproteins, vitamin E concentrations also tend to rise, leading to overestimation of vitamin E total body status.

– Vitamin E absorption from the intestinal lumen is dependent upon biliary and pancreatic secretions, micelle formation, uptake into enterocytes, and chylomicron secretion. Defects at any step lead to impaired absorption.

Foods rich in vitamin E
Food Source Serving Size Alpha-tocopherol (mg) Gamma-tocopherol (mg)
Walnuts (English) 1/4 cup 0.21 6.09
Sunflower seeds (oil-roasted) 1/4 cup 12.25 0.15
Pecans (oil-roasted) 1/4 cup 0.70 6.66
Almonds (oil-roasted) 1/4 cup 10.19 0.35
Chunky peanut butter 2 tbsp. 2.02 2.55













What does it mean if your gamma-Tocopherol result is too low?

– Deficiency may occur with malabsorption, cholestyramine, colestipol, isoniazid, orlistat, olestra and certain anti-convulsants (e.g., phenobarbital, phenytoin).

– Deficiency may result in peripheral neuropathy, ataxia, muscle weakness, retinopathy, and increased risk of CVD, prostate cancer and cataracts.

– Food sources include oils (olive, soy, corn, canola, safflower, sunflower), nuts, seeds, spinach, carrots, avocado, dark leafy greens and wheat germ.

What does it mean if your gamma-Tocopherol result is too high?

– Elevated plasma gamma-tocopherol and decreased alpha-tocopherol in men are associated with inflammatory markers and decreased plasma 25-OH vitamin D.

– Research, published in the journal Respiratory Research, found that gamma tocopherol, the kind in corn, canola and soybean oils, was linked to poor lung function in adults.

– Higher incidences of asthma were associated with higher blood levels of gamma tocopherol.

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