One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Any of several closely related compounds, found in wheatgerm oil, egg yolk, and leafy vegetables, which collectively constitute vitamin E. They are fat-soluble alcohols with antioxidant properties, important in the stabilization of cell membranes.
- ‘Vitamin E is a mixture of several related compounds known as tocopherols.’
- ‘Many E-numbers are found naturally in foods and may include essential vitamins, such as ascorbic acid and tocopherols.’
- ‘Such parameters have been measured successfully for a range of more natural lipidic inclusions such as various phospholipid species, cholesterol and alpha tocopherol.’
- ‘Certain vitamins like tocopherol and ascorbic acid are also suggested to have a strong free radical scavenging properties.’
- ‘The high reactivity of the singlet states of lycopene may be relevant to the synergetic antioxidative effect of tocopherols in the presence of lycopene.’
1930s: from Greek tokos ‘offspring’ + pherein ‘to bear’ + -ol.
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