Factors influencing blood concentration of retinol, alpha-tocopherol, vitamin C, and beta-carotene in the French participants of the SU.VI.MAX trial.Eur J Clin Nutr 2006; 60(6):706-17EJ
The data was collected during the inclusion step of the SUpplémentation en VItamines et Minéraux AntioXydants (SU.VI.MAX) study. This article deals with the study's first stage before any supplementation. The collected data shows factors influencing blood vitamin concentrations and may reflect the vitamin status of volunteers.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
A total of 12,741 volunteers were enrolled in the SU.VI.MAX study 7,713 women 35-60 years of age and 5,028 men 50-60 years of age. The serum concentrations of retinol, alpha-tocopherol, and beta-carotene were measured by HPLC, and vitamin C concentration was measured by spectrofluorimetry using a Technicon continuous flow analysis apparatus. The volunteers recorded their 24 h diet by means of a specific terminal that was connected to the main central computer of the SU.VI.MAX study. Volunteers recorded the food they consumed daily and estimated its quantity by comparing pictures of dishes.
Retinol concentration was significantly higher in older volunteers, and was higher in male than in female volunteers. Smoking had no effect on serum retinol, but the latter was higher in the autumn than in the winter. Serum retinol concentrations were higher in the Southwest region and lower in the Ile-de-France and East-Centre regions. Serum alpha-tocopherol was slightly higher in older volunteers and also higher in male volunteers. Serum alpha-tocopherol was significantly lower in smokers, and former smokers showed intermediate levels. Like retinol, serum alpha-tocopherol was higher in the autumn, and higher in the Southwest as compared to the East-Centre Serum beta-carotene was slightly higher in younger volunteers, and concentrations were higher in female than in male volunteers. Tobacco smoking decreased serum beta-carotene, which was higher in the autumn, and higher in the East, West, and North regions. Serum vitamin C was higher in female volunteers, and was not age related. Serum vitamin C was lower in smokers, was season-dependant, but contrary to fat-soluble vitamins, concentrations were higher in the winter and spring. Serum vitamin C was higher in the Southeast and East-Centre, but lower in the North region.
These results suggest that serum retinol concentrations depend on gender, age, seasons, and location of residence. Similarly, serum alpha-tocopherol concentrations were slightly influenced by age, but more by tobacco smoking, seasons, dietary intake, and location of residence. Serum concentrations of beta-carotene depend on gender, age, smoking status, dietary intake, and location of residence. Serum vitamin C concentrations depend on gender, age, smoking status, seasons, dietary intake, and location of residence. Contrary to beta-carotene, retinol concentrations were higher in male than in female volunteers. Such a reversed relation suggests a higher beta-carotene-retinol conversion in male volunteers.