The liver is at the nexus of the regulation of lipoprotein uptake, synthesis, and secretion, and it is the site of xenobiotic detoxification by cytochrome P450 oxidation systems (phase I), conjugation systems (phase II), and transporters (phase III). These two major liver systems control vitamin E status. The mechanisms for the preference for α-tocopherol relative to the eight naturally occurring vitamin E forms largely depend upon the liver and include both a preferential secretion of α-tocopherol from the liver into the plasma for its transport in circulating lipoproteins for subsequent uptake by tissues, as well as the preferential hepatic metabolism of non-α-tocopherol forms. These mechanisms are the focus of this review.
Keywords: alpha-tocopherol; lipoprotein metabolism; xenobiotic metabolism.