Biodiscrimination of Alpha-tocopherol Stereoisomers
in Humans After Oral Administration

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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FROM:   Am J Clin Nutr. 1997 (Mar);   65 (3): 785–789 ~ FULL TEXT

Kiyose C, Muramatsu R, Kameyama Y, Ueda T, Igarashi O.

Institute of Environmental Science for Human Life,
Ochanomizu University,
Tokyo, Japan.

We investigated changes in the concentrations of the stereoisomers of alpha-tocopherol in serum and lipoproteins in seven normal, healthy women aged 21-37 y who had received oral administration of natural and synthetic alpha-tocopheryl acetate. This study was conducted in three separate periods of 28 d each; there was a 3-mo washout period between each experimental period. During the first period the subjects were administered a daily dose of 100 mg RRR-alpha-tocopherol/d, whereas in the second and third periods 100 mg all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate/d and 300 mg all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate/d were given, respectively. Blood samples were collected 3 d before each treatment and 1, 3, 7, 14, and 28 d after treatment. alpha-Tocopherol stereoisomer concentrations in serum and lipoproteins (very-low-, low-, and high-density lipoproteins) were determined by the chiral HPLC method. The bioavailability of RRR-alpha-tocopherol was greater than that of all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate. When bioavailability was estimated from the increase in the concentration of RRR- or all-rac-alpha-tocopherol in serum, bioavailability of RRR-alpha-tocopherol administered at 100 mg/d was not different from that of all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate administered at 300 mg/d. 2R-Isomers and small amounts of 2S-isomers were detected in the serum lipoproteins of subjects administered all-rac-alpha-tocopheryl acetate.

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