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Lifestyle Behaviours and Plasma Vitamin C and β-Carotene Levels from the ELAN Population (Liège, Belgium)

Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism
Hindawi Publishing Corporation
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1155/2011/494370
  • Research Article
  • Economics
  • Medicine


Several factors, including fruit and vegetables intakes, have been shown to significantly influence the plasma concentrations of the two antioxidants vitamin C and β-carotene. Deficiency levels of 6 mg/L (34.2 μM) for vitamin C and of 0.22 mg/L (0.4 μM) for β-carotene have been suggested below which cardiovascular risk might be increased. The present study performed on 897 presumably healthy subjects aged 40–60 years aimed to examine how modifiable lifestyle factors may be related to vitamin C and/or β-carotene deficiency. Gender, smoking, lack of regular physical activity and of daily fruit consumption (≥2/day), and social status (in particular, unemployment) were found to be significant risk factors for vitamin C deficiency. For β-carotene deficiency, the same factors were identified except social status; moreover, overweight and OC use in women were also found to have a deleterious effect. For non exposed subjects, the probability of developing vitamin C deficiency was 4% in men and 2.4% in women. This probability increased to 66.3% for men and to 44.3% for women (and even to 50.4% under OC use), when all risk factors were present. For β-carotene deficiency, the corresponding probabilities were equal to 29.7% in men and 13.7% in women (no risk factor present), and to 86.1% for men and 69.9% (91.6% for OC use) for women (all factors present), respectively.

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