Earl S. Ford, MD, MPH; Umed A. Ajani, MBBS, MPH; Ali H. Mokdad, PhD
Potential Financial Conflicts of Interest: None disclosed.
Requests for Single Reprints: Earl Ford, MD, MPH, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, MS K66, Atlanta, GA 30341.
Current Author Addresses: Drs. Ford, Ajani, and Mokdad: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4770 Buford Highway, MS K66, Atlanta, GA 30341.
Author Contributions: Conception and design: E.S. Ford, A.H. Mokdad.
Analysis and interpretation of the data: E.S. Ford, U.A. Ajani, A.H. Mokdad.
Drafting of the article: E.S. Ford, A.H. Mokdad.
Critical revision of the article for important intellectual content: E.S. Ford, U.A. Ajani, A.H. Mokdad.
Final approval of the article: E.S. Ford, U.A. Ajani.
Statistical expertise: E.S. Ford.
People who consume at least 400 IU of vitamin E per day from supplements may be at slightly increased risk for premature mortality.
To estimate the percentage of U.S. adults age 20 years or older who consume at least 400 IU of vitamin E per day through the use of vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements.
The 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Representative sample of the civilian, noninstitutionalized U.S. population.
Participants answered questions about the use of vitamins, minerals, or other dietary supplements.
Among 4609 adults, 11.3% (95% CI, 9.7% to 13.1%) consumed at least 400 IU of vitamin E per day from supplements. Such intake increased with age, was about equal for men and women, and was more common among white persons (14.1%; CI, 11.9% to 16.7%) than African-American (3.7% [CI, 2.6% to 5.2%]) or Mexican-American persons (3.9% [CI, 2.8% to 5.4%]). The median dietary intake of vitamin E was 8.8 IU per day.
Information about vitamin E intake was self-reported.
The use of vitamin E supplements in dosages of at least 400 IU per day is common among U.S. adults.
Vitamin E supplements (400 IU or more daily) have no clear clinical benefits and may be harmful.
Self-reported data from 4609 adults who participated in the 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey showed that about 11% consumed at least 400 IU of vitamin E daily. Use was highest among older white adults who also consumed other antioxidant supplements.
We do not know the form of vitamin E that adults consumed, but α-tocopherol is the form most commonly found in supplements.
Many adults may be taking vitamin E supplements that have no proven clinical benefits and might be harmful.
Sample-size flow for 1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
Table. Unadjusted Percentages of Adults Aged 20 Years or Older Who Consume 400 IU of Vitamin E per Day from the Use of Vitamin, Mineral, or Dietary Supplements (1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey)
Concentrations of serum α-tocopherol (top) and γ-tocopherol (bottom) among U.S. adults age 20 years or older by intake of vitamin E from the use of vitamin, mineral, or dietary supplements (1999–2000 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey).
Ford ES, Ajani UA, Mokdad AH. Brief Communication: The Prevalence of High Intake of Vitamin E from the Use of Supplements among U.S. Adults. Ann Intern Med. 2005;143:116–120. doi: https://doi.org/10.7326/0003-4819-143-2-200507190-00010
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2005;143(2):116-120.
Cardiology, Coronary Heart Disease, Endocrine and Metabolism.
Copyright © 2020 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use