Vitamin E TPGS and Its Applications in Nutraceuticals

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Vitamin E TPGS (d-α-tocopheryl polyethylene glycol 1000 succinate), the water-soluble derivative of the naturally occurring d-a-tocopherol, was used initially to overcome malabsorption and correct severe vitamin E deficiency in cholestatic children. The observation that its administration increased the absorption of vitamin D focused attention on its amphiphilic properties as nonionic surfactant and applications in solubilizing lipophilic and poorly soluble compounds and enhancing their absorption and bioavailability. Further research has evaluated its safety and efficacy which combines solubilization and formation of micelle-like particles with inhibition of P-glycoprotein-mediated efflux, the key mechanism to the development of drug resistance. These properties expanded its applications in pharmaceuticals and dietary, disease-specific, supplements for malabsorbing patients. Emerging research on major nutraceuticals and the developing field of cannabinoids have shown that poor water solubility and extensive first-pass metabolism cause poor absorption and bioavailability. This chapter describes the properties, safety, and efficacy of vitamin E TPGS with a focus on its applications in nutraceuticals and cannabinoids.