Abstract Title:

Suboptimal Serumα-Tocopherol Concentrations Observed among Younger Adults and Those Depending Exclusively upon Food Sources, NHANES 2003-20061-3.

Abstract Source:

PLoS One. 2015 ;10(8):e0135510. Epub 2015 Aug 19. PMID: 26287975

Abstract Author(s):

Michael I McBurney, Elaine A Yu, Eric D Ciappio, Julia K Bird, Manfred Eggersdorfer, Saurabh Mehta

Article Affiliation:

Michael I McBurney


Vitamin E is an essential nutrient for human health, with an established function as a lipid-soluble antioxidant that protects cell membranes from free radical damage. Low vitamin E status has been linked to multiple health outcomes, including total mortality. With vitamin E being identified as a 'shortfall nutrient' because>90% of American adults are not consuming recommended amounts of vitamin E, we aimed to determine the prevalence of both clinical vitamin E deficiency (serumα-tocopherol concentration<12μmol/L) and failure to meet a criterion of vitamin E adequacy, serum α-tocopherol concentration of 30 μmol/L, based on the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) and lowest mortality rate in the Alpha-Tocopherol Beta-Carotene (ATBC) study. The most recent nationally-representative cross-sectional data (2003-2006) among non-institutionalized US citizens with available serum concentrations of α-tocopherol from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES); Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were analyzed. Serum α-tocopherol distributions were compared between those reporting consumption of food without supplement use (FOOD) and food and supplement use (FOOD+DS) by sex, age, and race/ethnicity. Only 1% of the US population is clinically deficient. FOOD consumers have lower average α-tocopherol levels (24.9± 0.2 μmol/L) than FOOD+DS users (33.7 ± 0.3 μmol/L), even when adjusted for total cholesterol. Using a criterion of adequacy of 30 μmol/L, 87% of persons 20-30y and 43% of those 51+y had inadequate vitamin E status (p<0.01). A significant greater prevalence of FOOD compared to FOOD+DS users did not meet the criterion of adequacy which was based on the EAR and low ATBC mortality rate consistently across age, sex, and race/ethnic groups. The prevalence of inadequate vitamin E levels is significantly higher among non-users of dietary supplements. With declining usage of vitamin E supplements, the population should be monitored for changes in vitamin E status and related health outcomes.

Study Type : Human Study
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