Vitamin E: Origin & Interesting Facts

Interesting facts about vitamin E

The term vitamin E is a summary of various substances with a fat-soluble structure, which have either an antioxidant or non-antioxidant effect. That vitamin group can also be combined as a tocopherol group, with alpha-tocopherol being the most common vitamin.

The term tocopherol originally comes from ancient Greek and combines the words "birth" and "carry". Vitamin E can either be produced by photosynthetic organisms, including plants, or belongs to the cell membranes of animals.

Origin of vitamin E

The vitamin was first identified in 1922 when Catherine S. Bishop and Herbert M. Evans discovered it. At that time, the two American researchers recognized that an unknown fat-soluble factor was necessary for reproduction in rodents such as rats and subsequently discovered vitamin E.

It is not for nothing that this substance is also called the fertility vitamin. In the years to come, scientists isolated the factor primarily from corn, wheat germ oils or oats and named it vitamin E. The basis was the long-established vitamins A, B, C and D, so that vitamin E as a designation was nothing more than the logical order in the vitamin chain. In 1938, the structure of the vitamin was deciphered and the first chemical synthesis was carried out.

These were initially the tocotrienols, which were synthesized in 1956. To date, vitamin E exists as a synthetic product and as a natural vitamin, with the synthetic variant having reduced potency.

Extraction of vitamin E

The vitamin is found in many plant foods and can be absorbed by the body through dietary fat. Some of the best vitamin E suppliers are:

A small amount of vitamin E can also be found in animal products such as eggs, but they do not serve as the sole source for a balanced vitamin E household.

By Christina Treu –

updated 11 Feb 2022

Christina Faithful

Editorial office Frummi

Christina Faithful has been writing for since May 2019 Frummi . She is ambitious to always check the best sources and to write the most qualified texts for our customers.

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