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Int J Food Sci Nutr. 2006 Aug-Sep;57(5-6):279-91.

Reduction in estimated vitamin A intake induced by new food composition tables in Japan, where vitamin A is taken mostly from plant foods.

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  • 1Department of Food and Nutrition, Kyoto Women's University, Kyoto, Japan.


A revised edition of the standard tables of food composition was implemented in Japan in 2005; one of the major revision points is the change of retinol activity equivalents for pro-vitamin A carotenoids. This preliminary analysis was conducted to examine whether the revision affects the estimation of vitamin A intake; and if so, to what extent. Accordingly, a field survey was conducted to collect 24-h duplicates of daily foods of citizens, and 26 adult women volunteered. Application of the procedures in the new and previous standard tables of food composition gave 537 microg retinol activity equivalent and 704 microg retinol equivalence, respectively, for daily vitamin A intake. Thus, the changes in retinol activity equivalents induced substantial reduction (by 24%) in estimation of vitamin A intake among the Japanese population, for whom pro-vitamin A carotenoids in plant foods are the major sources (76%) for vitamin A, and retinol accounts for only 35% (on the retinol activity equivalent basis).

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