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Most Brazilians have low antioxidant intakes

April 27, 2011

Large parts of the adult Brazilian population have dietary vitamin A, C and E intakes below recommended values, according to a new study.

In the observational study, dietary antioxidant intakes were assessed by interviewing 2,344 individuals over 40 years of age, living in rural and urban areas of 150 cities in Brazil (1). The study results showed that a large proportion of the population exhibit low intake in relation to dietary reference intakes for vitamin E (99.7 percent), vitamin A (92.4 percent) and vitamin C (85.1 percent), regardless of gender, age, skin color, economic status, social class, nutritional state and region of the country. In general, a greater proportion of individuals with overweight or obesity had low vitamin A intake.

The researchers concluded that these results should lead to the development of public health policies that encourage educational strategies for improving the consumption micronutrients, which are essential to overall health and prevention of chronic diseases. Measures for fortifying foods and supplementation as well as the stimulus to guarantee on the availability of antioxidant-rich food, such as fruits and vegetables, could have a substantial impact on minimizing inadequate nutrient intake. Previous national data demonstrated that only 2–3 percent of total food consumption corresponds to fruit, legumes and vegetables (2), which are important sources of nutrients with antioxidant functions.

References

  1. Pinheiro M. et al. Antioxidant intake among Brazilian adults - The Brazilian Osteoporosis Study (BRAZOS): a cross-sectional study. Nutrition Journal. 2011; 10:39.
  2. Instituto Brasileiro de Geografia e Estatística. Pesquisa de orçamentos familiares 2002-2003: Análise da disponibilidade domiciliar de alimentos e do estado nutricional no Brasil. Rio de Janeiro: Ministério do Planejamento e Orçamento/IBGE; 2004.