How an increased intake of alpha-tocopherol can suppress the bioavailability of gamma-tocopherol

Nutr Rev. 2006 Jun;64(6):295-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1753-4887.2006.tb00213.x.


alpha-Tocopherol is the only form of vitamin E in vitamin supplements, whereas gamma-tocopherol is the predominant form of vitamin E in the US diet. gamma-Tocopherol has beneficial properties as an anti-inflammatory and possibly anti-atherogenic and anticancer agent. Excess a-tocopherol taken in supplements causes a reduction of gamma-tocopherol concentration in plasma. The biochemical mechanism of this effect, which is important to human nutrition, has recently been elucidated.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Availability
  • Diet
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Humans
  • Vitamins / pharmacokinetics
  • Vitamins / pharmacology
  • alpha-Tocopherol / pharmacology*
  • gamma-Tocopherol / blood
  • gamma-Tocopherol / pharmacokinetics*


  • Vitamins
  • gamma-Tocopherol
  • alpha-Tocopherol