Tocopherol monoglucoside (TMG), a water soluble derivative of vitamin E offers protection against deleterious effects of ionizing radiation, both under in vivo and in vitro conditions, to biological systems. TMG was found to be a potent antioxidant and an effective free radical scavenger. It forms a phenoxyl radical similar to trolox upon reaction with various one-electron oxidants. TMG protected DNA from radiation-induced strand breaks. It also protected thymine glycol formation induced by gamma-radiation. Gamma-radiation-induced loss of viability of EL-tumor cells and peroxidation of lipids in microsomal and mitochondrial membranes were prevented by TMG. TMG was nontoxic to mice when administered orally up to 7.0 g/kg body weight. The LD50 dose of TMG for ip administration in mice was 1.15 g/kg body wt. In rats, following oral and ip administration of TMG, the absorption (distribution) half lives were 5.8 and 3.0 min respectively and elimination half lives were 6.7 and 3.1 min respectively. Embryonic mortality resulting from exposure of pregnant mice to ionizing radiation (2 Gy) was reduced by 75% by ip administration of TMG (0.6 g/kg, body wt) prior to irradiation. TMG offered protection to mice against whole body gamma-radiation-induced lethality and weight loss. The LD50(30) of mice increased from 6 to 6.72 Gy upon post irradiation administration of a single dose of TMG (0.6 g/kg, body wt) by ip.