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Abstract

Oxidative stress characterized by an imbalance in the production and degradation
of radical species has been implicated in the onset and progression of several
diseases. The efficacy of antioxidants acting via the inhibition of radical chain
reactions, scavenging of free radicals, direct donation of electrons to radical species
and chelation of metal ions have been reported to attenuate the oxidative process.
Vitamin E is an effective antioxidant and its hydrophobic nature and membrane
permeability offer some benefits to application and bioavailability. This chapter
highlights the following; structural differences in the vitamin family, biosynthesis
in plants and the native biological role, antioxidant mechanisms of vitamin E, an
overview of the prophylactic action of vitamin E as well as the effect on the oxidative
process in some diseases.


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