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  Global Journal of Biochemistry. Volume 2, Issue 1 (2011) pp. 28-48
  Review Article Free Article
The fat soluble antioxidant vitamin E: Its metabolism, and biological and physiological significance
  Ramadhan Orucha, Ian F. Prymeb, Holm Holmsenb  
a School of Medicine, Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Najran University, Najran, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
b Department of Biomedicine, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway

  In biological systems, there is an equilibrium state between pro-oxidant processes and antioxidant defence systems. If this state is disturbed in favour of pro-oxidant processes, oxidative stress will occur, the consequence of which is increased production of free radicals. Oxidative stress, no matter what its cause, can ultimately result in cell toxicity. Free radicals attack cellular components indiscriminately including lipids, carbohydrates and macromolecules such as proteins and DNA and thus affect their functionality. Lipids, by virtue of their location in cell membranes, are particularly vulnerable to free radical attack and lipid peroxides are produced as a consequence. Membrane stabilization (integrity) is a mandatory issue for survival of any biological system. Vitamin E, the lipid soluble essential micronutrient, embedded within membranes, has a high degree of scavenging activity. It is a highly efficient lipid-soluble chain-breaking antioxidant that has the function of maintaining membrane integrity, particularly by protecting the phospholipids of Poly Unsaturated Fatty Acids present in high concentrations. Many studies both in animals and human have demonstrated protective effects of this vitamin against a large spectrum of free radical-mediated pathological ailments.
  Free radicals; Oxidative stress; Antioxidants; Fat soluble vitamins; Aging; Inflammation; Cancer; Biomolecules; Membrane phospholipids  

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