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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Current Status of Vitamin E Nutriture

Authors
item Ahuja, Jaspreet
item Goldman, Joseph
item Moshfegh, Alanna

Submitted to: Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: November 1, 2004
Publication Date: December 30, 2004
Citation: Ahuja, J., Goldman, J., Moshfegh, A. 2004. Current status of vitamin E nutriture. Annals of New York Academy of Sciences. 1031:387-390.

Interpretive Summary: A database of a-tocopherol values for over 7000 foods as consumed by the U.S. population was developed and applied to food intake data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000. The estimated intakes of vitamin E are low, and the majority of the U.S. population does not meet the current dietary recommendations. Ninety perceent or more adults have their usual intakes below the current EAR. The intake of vitamin E rich foods is low in U.S. diets. Dietary vitamin E is mainly obtained from foods low in vitamin E, but high in frequency of consumption. Given the prevalence of inadequate intakes, vitamin E nutriture could be improved by increasing intake of foods high in a-tocopherol. Further research is needed since there is absence of evidence of deficiency in the U.S. population, and increasing evidence of benefits of vitamin E in reducing the risk of certain chronic diseases.

Technical Abstract: Vitamin E intake status requires reassessment, as the recommended daily intake levels have been increased, and are now based only on the a-tocopherol form of vitamin E, unlike in the past when other naturally occurring forms (beta-, gamma-, delta-tocopherol and tocotrienols) were thought to contribute towards the vitamin E activity in foods. A database of a-tocopherol values for over 7000 foods as consumed by the U.S. population was developed. The database was then applied to food intake data obtained from 8815 males and females, age 1 and older, from National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999-2000. To evaluate intakes using the Estimated Average Requirement (EAR) cut-point method, recommended by the Food and Nutrition Board, National Academy of Sciences, two days of dietary data are needed. Hence, measures of within-person variation for a-tocopherol were estimated using 2-day data from the Continuing Survey of Food Intakes by Individuals (CSFII) 1994-96.These variation measures were applied to the NHANES data to develop usual intake distributions for 16 age/gender groups, using the Iowa State University method and the software C-Side version 1.02. Food sources and major contributors of vitamin E were also determined using SAS version 8.02. The estimated intakes of vitamin E are low, and majority of the U.S. population does not meet the current dietary recommendations. Usual intakes of vitamin E in males and females, age 19 and older, are 7.8 and 6.3 mg/day respectively. Ninety percent or more adults have their usual intakes below the current EAR. The intake of vitamin E rich foods is low in U.S. diets. Dietary vitamin E is mainly obtained from foods low in vitamin E, but high in frequency of consumption. Top foods sources are mixture foods including spaghetti with sauce, pizza, chili; and fried potatoes including potato chips and french fries. The prevalence of inadequate intakes of vitamin E, absence of signs of deficiency in the U.S. population, and increasing evidence of its beneficial effect in reducing chronic disease risk points to a need for further research.

Last Modified: 10/21/2014