What Is alpha-Tocopherol & What Foods Can I Find It In?

3D-model of alpha-Tocopherol (src)

alpha-Tocopherol is one of the eight compounds that are commonly called Vitamin E.

Four tocopherols and four tocotrienols, all with distinctive antioxidant activities.

alpha-Tocopherol has the highest vitamin E activity compared to the other three tocopherols.

Tocopherols are essential for humans, but alpha-tocopherol is the only form that is recognized to meet human requirements.

Table of Contents

alpha-Tocopherol Is Essential

Vitamin E is the most potent, fat-soluble antioxidant in human plasma.

It is an essential nutrient. (source )

Vitamin E is the collective term of eight naturally occurring compounds consisting of four tocopherols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta) and four tocotrienols (alpha, beta, gamma, and delta). (source )

alpha-Tocopherol is the most common form of vitamin E, and is found in large quantities in vegetable oils.

It is a lipid-soluble antioxidant, which means it is able to enter cells and protect them from the damaging effects of oxidation.

Benefits Of alpha-Tocopherol

alpha-Tocopherol is a natural antioxidant.

alpha-tocopherol seems to be beneficial for the prevention of neurological disorders and may be the most effective antioxidant in the brain.

It also plays a key role in the functioning of the central nervous system.

You can find researched-backed benefits of alpha-tocopherol in alpha-Tocopherol: 9 Research-Backed Benefits .

alpha-Tocopherol Deficiency

The most abundant forms of vitamin E are alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol in foods.

Dietary requirements of vitamin E are limited to alpha-tocopherol because this is the only form that reverses vitamin E deficiency. (source )

The fat-soluble property of vitamins is their ability to store within the fatty tissues of the body.

It means that it does not have to be consumed every day. Vitamin E deficiency is quite rare in humans. (source )

How To Get alpha-Tocopherol

The best natural sources of vitamin E are vegetable oils, nuts, and whole grains.

While foods of animal origin are generally low in vitamin E. (source )

Vitamin E is much dependent on vitamin C, vitamin B3, selenium, and glutathione.

A diet high in vitamin E cannot have an optimal effect unless you also eat foods that provide these other nutrients. (source )

Vitamin E fortified foods

Foods are often fortified with vitamin E.

Most commonly is alpha-tocopherol used in fortification.

Foods You Can Find alpha-Tocopherol In

You find alpha-Tocopherol mostly in fats and oils, breakfast cereal, beverages, and baby food products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most alpha-Tocopherol, we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top ranked list of foods that contain alpha-Tocopherol.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.