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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 1991;61(1):27-32.

The tocopherol, tocotrienol, and vitamin E content of the average Finnish diet.

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Department of Food Chemistry and Technology, University of Helsinki, Finland.


The Finns average intake of tocopherols, tocotrienols, and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol equivalents) was determined. The food consumption data were derived mainly from the national food balance sheets (for 1987). The average Finnish daily diet was composed and analyzed both in spring and in autumn in order to minimize the effect of seasonal variation. The four tocopherols and four tocotrienols were then determined using high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC). For comparison, the intake of vitamin E compounds was also calculated using the most recent Finnish analytical data on tocopherols and tocotrienols in food. According to the analytical results, the average daily vitamin E intake in Finland was 10.7 mg alpha-tocopherol equivalents (alpha-TE) of which amount 85% is due to alpha-tocopherol. The analyzed values (10.8 mg alpha-TE in spring and 10.7 mg alpha-TE in autumn) of vitamin E intake did not markedly differ from the calculated value (10.3 mg alpha-TE), thus indicating that the Finnish food composition data upon tocopherols and tocotrienols is up-to-date and accurate. The best food sources of vitamin E were dietary fat (41% of the total amount), cereals (18%), and dairy products and eggs (13%). The average Finnish diet contained 9.5 g of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), which leads to the ratio of 0.9 between alpha-tocopherol (mg) and PUFA (g). According to these results, the dietary recommendations for vitamin E are met in Finland.

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