Alpha-tocopherol (synthetic)
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Vitamin E, known as the anti-sterility vitamin - from the Greek tokos (child) and pherein (bear), is fat-soluble and is a mixture of alpha-, beta-, gamma- and delta- tocopherols. Although eight chemically similar substances have Vitamin E activity, alpha-tocopherol is the most active of these (100% Vitamin E). Found in most foods, it is abundant in, amongst other things, whole grain cereals, corn and cottonseed oils, egg yolks, meat and milk. (See also E306, E308 and E309).

It is essential to the life of red blood cells and helps the supply of oxygen to the heart and muscles. Its requirement is increased by high intakes of polyunsaturated fats but, as the body stores about a year's supply, Vitamin E deficiency that produces signs and symptoms is rare. It is possible that generous intakes protect cell membranes from oxidation damage and consequent degenerative diseases.

E307 is an antioxidant and is used in pork pies and sausages as well as a vitamin supplement. Has a greater antioxidant effect than gamma-tocopherol (E308) in animals but not in cells or non-biological matter. It also protects other nutrients, such as Vitamin A, from oxidation but is largely destroyed by freezing.

.Commercially it can be produced from cottonseed, maize, rice germ, soya been oil, wheat germ, or green leaves and may, therefore, come from Genetically Modified sources.

Because of its antioxidant synergy with Ascorbyl palmitate it is likely to be found in combination with E304.