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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Dietary Intakes and Serum Concentrations of Vitamin E and Total Carotenoids of Healthy Adults with Severe Physical Disabilities Are Lower Than Matched Controls

item Burri, Betty
item Neidlinger, Terry

Submitted to: Journal Of The American Dietetic Association
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: December 1, 2002
Publication Date: December 1, 2002
Citation: Burri, B.J., Neidlinger, T.R. 2002. Dietary intakes and serum concentrations of vitamin e and total carotenoids of healthy adults with severe physical disabilities are lower than matched controls. Journal Of The American Dietetic Association. JADA 102:1804-6, 2002.

Interpretive Summary: Millions of people worldwide have severe long-lasting disabilities (such as cerebral palsy, polio, or spinal cord injuries). We thought these people might have high risks for poor nutrition, since they usually have low incomes and might have difficulty obtaining nutritious meals. We compared eating habits and dietary intakes of people with long-lasting disabilities to similar people who were not disabled. We found that the people with long-term disabilities ate fewer vegetables and fruits, and also ate less vitamin E and carotenoid rich foods. Since these phytonutrients help protect against heart disease and cancer, our results suggest that people with long-term disabilities might have higher risks for heart disease and cancer because of their diet. This means that nutritionists and health workers should ask people with long-term physical disabilities about their diets, and provide them with information and assistance in meeting their nutritional needs.

Technical Abstract: Millions of people worldwide have severe chronic physical disablities (e.g., polio, spinal cord injury). We hypothesized that these people are at risk for poor antioxdant nutrient intakes and status, because of their dtypically low energy expenditures and low socioeconomic status. We sureveyed antioxidant nutrient intakes and concentrations in subjects with physical disabilities and age matched non-disabled controls. Only one subject with physiucal disabilities ate five or more servings of vegetables per day. The group had low intakes of vegetables (minus potatoes) and citrus fruits,and trends for low intakes of all antioxidant nutrients. Serum a-tocopherol and total carotenoid concentrations were lower in subjects with physcial disabilities, while retinol and individual carotenoids showed non-significant lower trends. Since adequate antioxidant nutrients are associated with decreased chronic disease risk, nutrition professionals might improve the health of patients with physical disabilities by periodically monitoring their intakes and status of antioxidant nutrients.

Last Modified: 2/28/2015
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