Dietary intakes and blood concentrations of antioxidant vitamins in German vegans.Int J Vitam Nutr Res 2005; 75(1):28-36IJ
We report on an evaluation of intake and blood concentrations of antioxidant vitamins in a cross-sectional study of 104 German vegans, and examine the association between blood concentration of antioxidant vitamins and their intake as well as fruit and vegetable intake. Comparisons are made with dietary reference intakes and established threshold values (ETV) for blood concentrations. Mean intakes of vitamin C, E, and beta-carotene were higher than actual recommendations, but comparable to reported intakes in other vegan cohorts. Mean blood concentrations were 0.76 micromol/L for beta-carotene and 117 micromol/L for vitamin C, so that nearly all participants showed concentrations that were above the ETV for the prevention of chronic diseases. Although mean vitamin E intake was 24.8 mg/day, only 32% of female and 18% of male participants showed plasma concentrations above the ETV. However, the mean vitamin E/cholesterol ratio was high (5.97), indicating a good protection of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) against peroxidation. Of the reported antioxidant vitamins, only plasma vitamin C concentration was a good biomarker of fruit and vegetable intake. The high concentration of antioxidative compounds in plasma may be one of the reasons for the lower incidence of chronic diseases in people consuming a plant-only diet.