Tocopherols are lipid soluble antioxidants that play a role in the prevention of lipid peroxidation in tissues. The tocopherols are essential, and in that capacity they cannot be replaced in this role by other chemicals except the similarly structured by unsaturated tocotrienols. However, tocopherols do interact with a number of other chemicals and these interactions can in some cases improve the antioxidant defenses of lipid soluble tissues. For example, tocopherols interact with other phytochemicals including rosmarinic acid and caffeic acid, which is something that would also occur in plants. Water-soluble antioxidants such as vitamin C, gallic acid, epigallocatechin gallate, epicatechin gallate, epigallocatechin, epicatechin, quercetin, glutathione, and rosmarinic acid have all been shown to regenerate tocopherols from the tocopherol radical, and so can therefore potentiate the activity of tocopherols. This suggests that antioxidants should be consumed together, to take advantage of this synergistic effect.
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