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Most Americans Have Inadequate Vitamin E Levels

Are you getting enough vitamin E? Chances are you may not be. The Estimated Average Requirement (which is the nutrient-intake level necessary to meet the needs of 50% of the population) of vitamin E for Americans is 13 IU per day, but research has found that the majority of Americans age 50 and under are not getting adequate amounts. The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, looked at blood samples taken from 7,922 people who participated in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) from 2003 to 2006. Researchers also analyzed the participants’ self-reported diet and supplemental intake of vitamin E. After adjusting for blood cholesterol concentrations, which affects vitamin E status, the researchers found that:

  • Approximately 87% of people ages 20 to 30, 68% of people ages 31 to 50, and 43% of people over the age of 51 had inadequate vitamin E blood levels, and 0.6% of participants were clinically deficient in vitamin E.
  • Regardless of age, sex, or ethnicity, taking a vitamin E supplement reduced the risk of vitamin E inadequacy by 83%.

Keep in mind that this study was observational and was funded and performed, in part, by a vitamin E supplement manufacturer, so more clinical research from unaffiliated parties is needed to substantiate the findings. Nonetheless, it is important to maintain adequate vitamin E levels—previous research has associated higher vitamin E status with a decreased risk for dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, rheumatoid arthritis, depression, and death from any cause. If you want to get more vitamin E into your diet, add some wheat germ, almonds, avocados, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, or pumpkin to your next meal. And, based on these findings, taking a multivitamin may also be a good way to boost your vitamin E intake.

Source: PLoS ONE

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