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CHEM 181 (47)

woc 6- oils, nuts, whole grains and vitamin e.docx

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McGill University
CHEM 181
David Harpp

pages 137143 OILS NUTS WHOLE GRAINS AND VITAMIN EOver half a century ago Drs Evan and Wilfrid Shute thought that they had taken a giant step towards solving the problem of heart disease claiming that 200 IU of vitamin E a day was beneficial in reversing heart disease and in treating angina Although their manuscripts were rejected by journals the vitamin E theory got popular o Now a lot of research is being done on the subject however the results are unclear One certainty is that it may behave as an antioxidant and another is that it is no wonder compoundUnlike other vitamins eg vitamin C vitamin E is not one single compound and again unlike vitamin C the synthetic version is not identical to the natural compoundIn the 1920s researchers noted that male rats lacking fat in their diets became sterile and that females failed to carry their young to full term Eventually the problem was traced to a fatsoluble substance for which the term tocopherol was coined from the Greek birth and to carry Since the substance could not be made in a rats body and have to be supplied in the diet it fit the definition of a vitamin and tocopherol became vitamin EThe first issue about vitamin E to have arisen was that chemical analysis revealed that vitamin E was not a single compound Instead there were 8 closely related substances that had vitamin E activity The differences in molecular structure were subtle but did result in different physiological effects o Dalpha tocopherol turned out to have the greatest biological activity as determined by its effectiveness in preventing reproductive problems in rats This was extracted from natural
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