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DSM highlights link between dietary supplement use and the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin E status

Kaiseraugst, CH, 07 May 2014 10:15 CEST

DSM is continuing to advance research into vitamin E, with a new review of data to determine the relationship between dietary supplement use and the prevalence of suboptimal vitamin E status among adults in the United States (US). The poster, which was recently presented at Experimental Biology in San Diego, US, concluded that most Americans have suboptimal vitamin E status although the prevalence of insufficiency is lower for those using dietary supplements.

With more than 90% of the US population not currently meeting the vitamin E intake recommendations, the study assessed how vitamin E status differs by sex, ethnicity, age and dietary supplement use. The analysis found that prevalence of deficient and suboptimal status is highest in younger adults and most common among non-Hispanic Afro-Americans, relative to other ethnicities. The poster also highlighted that suboptimal vitamin E status was less likely to be found among users of dietary supplements.

As a major fat-soluble antioxidant, vitamin E is essential for human health and protects cells, tissues and organs from damage due to oxidative reactions,” explains Michael McBurney, Vice President Science, Nutrition and Advocacy at DSM. “Maintaining optimal vitamin E status is associated with decreased risk of mortality. Unfortunately, the majority of Americans have suboptimal vitamin E status to support the brain, eye, cardiovascular systems.

Low vitamin E intake is a serious public health concern. This latest analysis shows that, despite a low incidence in overt vitamin E deficiency, many adults in the US have suboptimal a-tocopherol (AT) status even when supplementing their diet. DSM is involved in ongoing work to evaluate vitamin E intake recommendations, with the existing guidelines typically based on anecdotal historic data.”

Vitamin E is a generic term for eight fat-soluble compounds found in nature, of which ‘alpha-tocopherol’ has the highest biological activity and is the most abundant in the human body. The study assessed serum AT levels and used biomarker and socioeconomic data taken from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHNES) (2003-06) dataset.

As the world’s largest supplier of vitamin E, DSM offers a comprehensive portfolio of oil and dry forms that are suitable for a wide range of applications. For more information and to access the latest research on vitamin E, visit