Evans and Bishop were feeding rats a semi-purified diet when they noticed that the female rats were unable to produce offspring because the pups died in the womb.
They then fed the female rats lettuce and wheat germ, and observed that healthy offspring were produced.
Vitamin E was isolated as α-tocopherol. The name tocopherol is derived from the Greek tokos meaning childbirth or offspring, the Greek pherein meaning to bring forth and ol to designated an alcohol.
The compound with vitamin E activity was first purified from wheat germ oil in 1936 and given the name α tocopherol.
However Agnes Fay Morgan and her colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley are credited with the 1937 discovery of vitamin E’s special role in the body.
In 1940s, a team of Canadian physicians discovered that vitamin E could protect from coronary heart disease.
Research in 2001, discovered that vitamin E from food and supplements may help slow mental decline and reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. In one study, those with the highest intake of vitamin E had nearly a 40 percent reduction in the rate of mental decline.
Vitamin E discovery