News Update on Vitamins : Dec 2020

Intake of antioxidant vitamins and risk of death from stroke in postmenopausal women

Background: Antioxidant vitamins may play a role in the prevention of stroke because they scavenge free radicals and prevent LDL oxidation. Epidemiologic studies that have examined this relation produced conflicting results.

Objective: We examined the association between antioxidant vitamin intakes and death from stroke.

Design: This was a prospective cohort study of 34492 postmenopausal women.

Results: During follow-up, 215 deaths from stroke were documented. Total vitamin A, carotenoid, and vitamin E intakes were not associated with death from stroke after multivariate adjustment. Relative risks (RRs) and 95% CIs of the highest compared with the lowest category were 0.79 (0.45, 1.38; P for trend = 0.33) for vitamin A, 0.80 (0.45, 1.40; P for trend = 0.40) for carotenoids, and 0.91 (0.55, 1.52; P for trend = 0.86) for vitamin E. The test for trend for total vitamin C intake was significant, although the association appeared somewhat U-shaped, not monotonic. An inverse association was seen between death from stroke and vitamin E intake from food. RRs (and 95% CIs) of death from stroke from the lowest to highest intake categories were 1.0, 0.80 (0.51, 1.26), 0.93 (0.58, 1.49), 0.67 (0.39, 1.14), 0.40 (0.20, 0.80); P for trend = 0.008. The results suggest inverse associations between death from stroke and intakes of the most concentrated vitamin E food sources consumed by this cohort: mayonnaise, nuts, and margarine.

Conclusions: Our results suggest a protective effect of vitamin E from foods on death from stroke but do not support a protective role for supplemental vitamin E or other antioxidant vitamins. However, given the number of deaths from stroke in the present cohort, a small-to-moderate association could not be ruled out. [1]

Dietary intake of folate, other B vitamins, and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to depressive symptoms in Japanese adults


Although a favorable effect of dietary folate and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) on depression is suggested from epidemiologic studies in Western countries, evidence from non-Western populations is lacking. We examined cross-sectional associations between the intake of folate, other B vitamins, and ω-3 PUFAs and depressive symptoms in Japanese adults.


Subjects were 309 Japanese men and 208 Japanese women 21–67 y of age. Dietary intake was assessed with a validated, brief, self-administered diet history questionnaire. Depressive symptoms were defined as present when subjects had a Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression scale score ≥16. Adjustment was made for age, body mass index, work place, marital status, occupational physical activity, leisure-time physical activity, current smoking, current alcohol drinking, and job stress score.


The prevalences of depressive symptoms were 36% for men and 37% for women. Folate intake showed a statistically significant, inverse, and linear association with depressive symptoms in men but not in women. The multivariate odds ratios (95% confidence intervals) for depressive symptoms for men in the first, second, third, and fourth quartiles of folate intake were 1.00 (reference), 0.78 (0.38–1.63), 0.57 (0.27–1.18), and 0.50 (0.23–1.06), respectively (P for trend = 0.045). No statistically significant linear association was observed for the intake of riboflavin, pyridoxine, cobalamin, total ω-3 PUFAs, α-linolenic acid, eicosapentaenoic acid, or docosahexaenoic acid in either sex.


Higher dietary intake of folate was associated with a lower prevalence of depressive symptoms in Japanese men but not women. [2]

B Vitamins in Breast Milk: Relative Importance of Maternal Status and Intake, and Effects on Infant Status and function

Infants should be exclusively breastfed for the first 6 mo of life. However, maternal deficiency of some micronutrients, conveniently classified as Group I micronutrients during lactation, can result in low concentrations in breast milk and subsequent infant deficiency preventable by improving maternal status. This article uses thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, vitamin B-12, and choline as examples and reviews the evidence for risk of inadequate intakes by infants in the first 6 mo of life. Folate, a Group II micronutrient, is included for comparison. Information is presented on forms and concentrations in human milk, analytical methods, the basis of current recommended intakes for infants and lactating women, and effects of maternal supplementation. From reports of maternal and/or infant deficiency, concentrations in milk were noted as well as any consequences for infant function. These milk values were used to estimate the percent of recommended daily intake that infants fed by a deficient mother could obtain from her milk. Estimates were 60% for thiamin, 53% for riboflavin, 80% for vitamin B-6, 16% for vitamin B-12, and 56% for choline. Lack of data limits the accuracy and generalizability of these conclusions, but the overall picture that emerges is consistent across nutrients and points to an urgent need to improve the information available on breast milk quality. [3]

Vitamin C (L-ascorbic Acid) Content in Different Parts of Moringa oleifera Grown in Bangladesh

Vitamin C is a water soluble organic compound that participates in many biological processes. The objective of the present research is to evaluate the vitamin C contents in different parts of Moringa oleifera e.g. tender and matured leaves, flowers and pods grown in Bangladesh. Vitamin C content in fresh samples of six different M. olifera plants were determined by the HPLC method. Vitamin C content in the tender leaves of six M. olifera was found to be 62.66 to 143.587 mg/100 g, matured leaves contained 51.226 to 150.157 mg/100 g, flower showed 77.502 to 224.672 mg/100 g whereas four weeks aged pods were found to contain vitamin C 3.96 to 8.27 mg/100 g. In this study the vitamin C content in M. oleifera flowers was found to be in highest amount and the pods contained the lowest amount of vitamin C compared to the other plant parts. On the other hand vitamin C content in matured leaves was observed to be present in higher amount than the tender leaves.

Aims: The present study investigates the vitamin C content in different parts of Moringa oleifera grown in Bangladesh. The main object of this work was to see the level of vitamin C content in different parts of the study plant like leaves, flowers and pods in different Moringa tree.

Methodology: Vitamin C content was determined quantitatively by HPLC.

Results: Vitamin C content in the six M. oleifera plants was found to be 62.66 to 143.587 mg/100 g for tender leaves, 51.226 to 150.157 mg/100 g for matured leaves, 77.502 to 224.672 mg/100 g for flowers and 3.96 to 8.27 mg/100 g for four weeks aged pods.

Conclusion: It can be said that different parts of M. oleifera plants grown in Bangladesh are good sources of the vitamin C. [4]

A Short Questionnaire for Assessment of Dietary Vitamin D Intake

Aims: Dietary vitamin D intake is difficult to assess as it is irregular. In Sweden, main sourcesare oily fish, fortified dairy products and margarines. This relative validation study intends to investigate the agreement in dietary vitamin D intake between a short vitamin D questionnaire and a four day food record.

Study Design: A cross sectional study design was implemented.

Place and Duration of Study: Department of Internal Medicine and Clinical Nutrition, Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg. Assessments were conducted between January 2009 and December 2012.

Methodology: Ninety-five female subjects (25-40 years old) performed a short vitamin D questionnaire (VDQ), covering the consumption of four foods with high vitamin D content (oily fish, milk, margarine and yoghurt/sour milk). They also performed a food record for four consecutive days in connection to the VDQ.

Results: Median (quartile 1-quartile 3) dietary vitamin D intake was 4.7 (3.6-7.4) µg/day assessed by food record and 3.4 (2.3-4.6) µg/day assessed by VDQ. The dietary intakes of vitamin D correlated significantly between methods (P=.007). The amounts of vitamin D derived from each of the four foods did not differ between methods (P>.05).

Conclusion: The short VDQ, including only four foods with high vitamin D content (oily fish, milk, margarine and yoghurt/sour milk), was able to capture the majority of the dietary vitamin D intake reported in food records. This relative validation study shows that the short questionnaire is a useful tool when assessing intake of major sources of dietary vitamin D on a group level. [5]


[1] Yochum, L.A., Folsom, A.R. and Kushi, L.H., 2000. Intake of antioxidant vitamins and risk of death from stroke in postmenopausal women. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 72(2), pp.476-483.

[2] Murakami, K., Mizoue, T., Sasaki, S., Ohta, M., Sato, M., Matsushita, Y. and Mishima, N., 2008. Dietary intake of folate, other B vitamins, and ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids in relation to depressive symptoms in Japanese adults. Nutrition, 24(2), pp.140-147.

[3] Allen, L.H., 2012. B vitamins in breast milk: relative importance of maternal status and intake, and effects on infant status and function. Advances in nutrition, 3(3), pp.362-369.

[4] Shahin Ahmed, K., Banik, R., Hemayet Hossain, M. and Ara Jahan, I. (2015) “Vitamin C (L-ascorbic Acid) Content in Different Parts of Moringa oleifera Grown in Bangladesh”, Chemical Science International Journal, 11(1), pp. 1-6. doi: 10.9734/ACSJ/2016/21119.

[5] Hedlund, L., K. Brekke, H., Brembeck, P. and Augustin, H. (2014) “A Short Questionnaire for Assessment of Dietary Vitamin D Intake”, European Journal of Nutrition & Food Safety, 4(2), pp. 150-156. doi: 10.9734/EJNFS/2014/7192.

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