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Clin Nutr. 2010 Feb;29(1):119-23. doi: 10.1016/j.clnu.2009.08.001. Epub 2009 Aug 27.

Serum concentration and dietary intake of vitamins A and E in low-income South African elderly.

Author information

1
Institute of Sustainable Livelihoods, Vaal University of Technology, Private Bag X021, Vanderbijlpark 1900, South Africa. wilna@vut.ac.za

Abstract

BACKGROUND & AIMS:

Adequate dietary intake of antioxidants is vital for the promotion of health, well being and longevity of the elderly. This study assessed the prevalence of vitamin A (retinol) and vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) deficiency in a population of low-income South African elderly.

METHODS:

Serum vitamin A and vitamin E concentrations were determined in 235 persons aged 60-93 years in Sharpeville, South Africa. Dietary assessment was done using 24-h recall. Weight and height were measured to determine body mass index.

RESULTS:

The mean and standard deviation of serum levels in the elderly were 1.41+/-1.4 micromol/L for vitamin A and 2.1+/-1.1 mg/l for vitamin E. The proportion with deficient serum vitamin A was 28.2% and 26.5% for men and women respectively and 20.5% and 20.9% respectively for deficient vitamin E concentrations. Almost one-third of the subjects consumed less than 100% of the Estimated Average Requirement for both vitamins. Mean vitamin A intake was 426+/-666 microg in men and 368+/-811 microg in women, mean vitamin E intake for men and women was 5.4+/-5.2 microg and 4.0+/-0.5 mg respectively. The predominant macronutrient consumed was carbohydrate. No relationship existed between biochemical and dietary intake parameters of vitamins A and E.

CONCLUSIONS:

These findings indicate poor dietary intake and high prevalence of vitamins A and E deficiency among this elderly population. Sustainable community-based interventions are needed to address this nutritional vulnerability in this community.

PMID:
19716211
DOI:
10.1016/j.clnu.2009.08.001
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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