Another Study Reports Inadequate Vitamin E Intake
Zhao and colleagues assessed dietary adequacy and plasma vitamin E (α-tocopherol and ϒ-tocopherol) concentrations in the plasma of Irish adults. Food sources were not sufficient. Two-thirds of women were not consuming recommended amounts of vitamin E. Supplementation was important, contributing 29% of their vitamin E. People who didn’t supplement with vitamin E had much lower plasma α-tocopherol concentrations.
Vitamin E is an antioxidant vitamin. Because of its protective role, vitamin E is co-localized with fats in plants (nuts, endosperm of grains, vegetable oils, butter) and the fatty acid-rich membranes surrounding cells in the body. Of the differing vitamin E forms, α-tocopherol form has the highest biologic activity in the body, is the only form retained in the body, and is the form recommended to meet our vitamin E requirement.
The vitamin E requirement was based on intakes needed to maintain α-tocopherol concentrations to support normal function. Vitamin E is the main fat-soluble antioxidant in the body, including the brain. Long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids, especially docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and vitamin E are essential to maintain the structure function of the brain.
Vitamin E is a forgotten, overlooked nutrient. Despite the fact >90% of Americans do not consume Institute of Medicine recommended intakes, the 2010 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committees did not include vitamin E among the ‘nutrients of concern’ (potassium, dietary fiber, calcium and vitamin D). Low vitamin E intake and suboptimal α-tocopherol concentrations appear to be problematic in Ireland too.
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