TitleA rapid method for the extraction and determination of vitamin E metabolites in human urine.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2000
AuthorsLodge JK, Traber MG, Elsner A, Brigelius-Flohé R
JournalJ Lipid Res
Date Published2000 Jan
KeywordsCalibration, Chromatography, Gas, Chromatography, High Pressure Liquid, Electrochemistry, Humans, Reference Standards, Sensitivity and Specificity, Vitamin E

A method for the direct extraction and routine analysis of the vitamin E metabolites gamma- and alpha-carboxyethyl hydroxychroman (gamma- and alpha-CEHC) from human urine has been developed. A relatively small sample volume (5 ml) can be used and, after enzymatic hydrolysis of the conjugated forms and acidification, the metabolites are extracted with diethyl ether. Recovery of alpha- and gamma-CEHC was compared to that of trolox, used as an internal standard, added to 24-h urine collections from vitamin E-unsupplemented volunteers. Various solvent conditions were initially tested; acidification and ether extraction gave the highest recovery. It was found that after addition and extraction from urine, trolox, alpha- and gamma-CEHC are recovered to a similar extent, hence trolox is viable as an internal standard. The samples were analyzed by both GC and HPLC with electrochemical detection (ECD). HPLC-ECD was found to give higher selectivity and higher sensitivity compared to GC or HPLC with UV detection at 290 nm. The HPLC-ECD detection limit was 10 fmol, linearity (r(2) > 0.98) was achieved in the range of 40 to 200 fmol, which was found to be optimal for 24-h urines from unsupplemented subjects. Inter-sample variability was typically 2-5%. This greater sensitivity and selectivity means that vitamin E metabolites can be analyzed even in unsupplemented subjects. It is also possible to measure unconjugated forms of the metabolites. Typically these were found to represent approximately 10% of the total alpha- and gamma-CEHC. This method can be used routinely for the determination of vitamin E metabolites in urine. The new extraction and detection methods described are relatively quick, less laborious, and more cost-effective than previously available methods.

Alternate JournalJ. Lipid Res.
PubMed ID10627513