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Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2008 May;78(3):148-55. doi: 10.1024/0300-9831.78.3.148.

Vitamin E inadequacy observed in a group of 2- to 6-year-old children living in Kwangju, Republic of Korea.

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Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68583-0806, USA.


Studies on the vitamin E status of Korean children are lacking. Dietary intakes and plasma concentrations of tocopherols of healthy 2- to 6-year-olds living in Kwangju, Republic of Korea, were determined and their vitamin E status evaluated. Subjects included 66 girls and 65 boys, with 21-32 subjects per age group. Subjects' intakes were recorded by a trained interviewer for foods eaten at preschool/kindergarten; otherwise, three consecutive 24-hour food recalls were obtained from parents. Plasma tocopherol concentrations were determined using high-performance liquid chromatography. Intakes of energy and total monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats were significantly different (p < 0.05) among age groups, not gender, with 2- and 3-year-olds having lower intakes. Alpha- and gamma-tocopherol intakes were similar by age and gender. Sixty-seven percent consumed less than the Korean Adequate Intakes for vitamin E, and 77% had Alpha-tocopherol intakes less than USA/Canadian Estimated Average Requirements. Plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations, but not gamma-tocopherol, were significantly higher (p < 0.05) for 2-year-olds. Two-thirds of subjects had plasma alpha-tocopherol concentrations less than 12 micromol/L, which is indicative of vitamin E inadequacy in adults; guidelines for children do not exist. Many of the Korean children had inadequate intakes and likely inadequate plasma concentrations of vitamin E.

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