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Br J Nutr. 2004 Jun;91(6):1005-11.

Dietary sources of vitamin C, vitamin E and specific carotenoids in Spain.

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Institut Català d'Oncologia, 08907 Barcelona, Spain.


A cross-sectional study was conducted within the Spanish cohort of the European Prospective Investigation in Cancer and Nutrition to assess the principal food sources of vitamin C, vitamin E, alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, lycopene, lutein, beta-cryptoxanthin and zeaxanthin in an adult Spanish population. The study included 41446 healthy volunteers (25812 women and 15634 men), aged 29-69 years, from three Spanish regions in the north (Asturias, Navarra and Guipúzcoa) and two in the south (Murcia and Granada). Usual food intake was estimated by personal interview through a computerized version of a dietary history questionnaire. Foods that provided at least two-thirds of the studied nutrients were: fruits (mainly oranges) (51 %) and fruiting vegetables (mainly tomato and sweet pepper) (20 %) for vitamin C; vegetable oils (sunflower and olive) (40 %), non-citrus fruits (10 %), and nuts and seeds (8 %) for vitamin E; root vegetables (carrots) (82 %) for alpha-carotene; green leafy (28 %), root (24 %) and fruiting vegetables (22 %) for beta-carotene; fruiting vegetables (fresh tomato) (72 %) for lycopene; green leafy vegetables (64 %) for lutein; citrus fruits (68 %) for beta-cryptoxanthin; citrus fruits (43 %) and green leafy vegetables (20 %) for zeaxanthin. In conclusion, the main food sources of nutrients with redox properties have been identified in a Mediterranean country. This could provide an insight into the interpretation of epidemiological studies investigating the role of diet in health and disease.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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