One of the two major forms of vitamin E
, the other being the tocotrienol
s. The d-alpha-tocopherol form is considered the gold standard
for vitamin E use; it has the strongest effects and is kept in the body the longest.
The name tocopherol
was coined in 1924 from the Greek roots tokos
, childbirth, and pherin
, to bring forth. The -ol
suffix indicates that it is chemically an alcohol
. This is because the earliest studies of vitamin E determined that when severely deprived of it, pregnant rat
s would reabsorb fetus
es. To this day, the potency of different forms of the vitamin is determined by how much you have to give a rat to get her to bear her entire litter.