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Nutr Res Pract. 2012 Feb;6(1):45-50. doi: 10.4162/nrp.2012.6.1.45. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

Vitamin A status of 20- to 59-year-old adults living in Seoul and the metropolitan area, Korea.

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  • 1Department of Food & Nutrition, Duksung Women's University, 419 Ssangmun-dong, Seoul 132-714, Korea.


Dietary intakes and plasma concentrations of retinol and carotenoids were estimated in assessing the vitamin A status of Korean adults living in Seoul and the metropolitan area. Three consecutive 24-h food recalls were collected from 106 healthy subjects (33 males and 73 females) aged 20-59 years. Fasting blood samples of the subjects were obtained and plasma retinol and carotenoids were analyzed. The daily vitamin A intakes (mean ± SD) were 887.77 ± 401.35 µg retinol equivalents or 531.84 ± 226.42 µg retinol activity equivalents. There were no significant differences in vitamin A intakes among age groups. The retinol intake of subjects was 175.92 ± 129.87 µg/day. The retinol intake of the subjects in their 50's was significantly lower than those in their 20's and 30's (P < 0.05). Provitamin A carotenoid intakes were 3,828.37 ± 2,196.29 µg/day β-carotene, 472.57 ± 316.68 µg/day α-carotene, and 412.83 ± 306.46 µg/day β-cryptoxanthin. Approximately 17% of the subjects consumed vitamin A less than the Korean Estimated Average Requirements for vitamin A. The plasma retinol concentration was 1.22 ± 0.34 µmol/L. There was no significant difference in plasma retinol concentrations among age groups. However, the concentrations of β-carotene, lycopene, and lutein of subjects in their 50's were significantly higher than those of in their 20's. Only one subject had a plasma retinol concentration < 0.70 µmol/L indicating marginal vitamin A status. Plasma retinol concentration in 30% of the subjects was 0.70- < 1.05 µmol/L, which is interpreted as the concentration possibly responsive to greater intake of vitamin A. In conclusion, dietary intakes and status of vitamin A were generally adequate in Korean adults examined in this study.


Vitamin A status; carotenoids; provitamin A carotenoids; retinol

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