Published online by Cambridge University Press: 09 March 2007
Vegetable fats and oils are major sources of dietary vitamin E. Consequently the current trend to reduce fat consumption is accompanied by a reduction of the intake of vitamin E. In addition, the absorption of vitamin E is thought to be dependent on the hydroiysis of dietary lipids in the small intestine. It is therefore conceivable that a lower dietary fat intake also diminishes the intestinal absorption of vitamin E. The present 3-week feeding study in young male rats was designed to investigate whether different concentrations of vitamin E added to a very-low-fat product (0, 330 or 1350mg dl-α-tocopheryl acetate/kg product) were absorbed. We therefore incorporated these products into a very-low-fat meal (final fat concentration: 7 g/kg) or a low-fat meal containing 52 g fat/kg. The magnitude of vitamin E absorption from these meals was compared with that from meals containing similar amounts of vitamin E, but a high fat concentration of 190 g/kg. Apparent vitamin E absorption was defined as intake of α- tocopherol equivalents (αTE) minus faecal αTE excretion over 4 d during week 3 of the experimental period. The results of this study showed that apparent absorption of vitamin E from a very-low-fat meal varied, depending on the vitamin E concentration, from 73 to 83%. The magnitude of this vitamin E absorption was not significantly different from that from meals containing a high amount of fat. Liver vitamin E status was equal in rats fed on the very-low-fat meals compared with those fed on the high- fat meals. We conclude that, when very-low-fat or low-fat products are used as a replacement for full- fat products, addition of vitamin E to these products, as dl-α-tocopheryl acetate, might be useful in meeting the vitamin E requirements.
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