Sesamin (a compound from sesame oil) increases tocopherol levels in rats fed ad libitum

Afaf Kamal-Eldin, Dan Pettersson, Lars Åke Appelqvist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Six groups of rats were fed diets low, but adequate, in α-tocopherol but high in γ-tocopherol. The six diets differed only in their contents (0, 0.25, 0.5, 1.0, 2.0, and 4.0 g/kg, respectively) of sesamin, a lignan from sesame oil. After four weeks of ad libitum feeding, the rats were sacrificed and the concentrations of α- and γ-tocopherols were measured in the plasma, livers, and lungs. Sesamin-feeding increased γ-tocopherol and γ-/α-tocopherol ratios in the plasma (P<0.05), liver (P<0.001), and lungs (P<0.001). The increase was non-significant for α-tocopherol. Thus, sesamin appears to spare γ-tocopherol in rat plasma and tissues, and this effect persists in the presence of α-tocopherol, a known competitor to γ-tocopherol. This suggests that the bioavailability of γ-tocopherol is enhanced in phenol-containing diets as compared with purified diets.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-505
Number of pages7
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1995
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Cell Biology


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