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To investigate long-term trends in dietary intakes of vitamins A, C and E in Japanese adults.
Time series by community-based nutrition survey.
Two rural communities (Ikawa and Kyowa) between 1974 and 2001 in Japan.
A total of 3713 men and 3726 women aged 40–69 years.
Dietary intake data were collected by the 24 h dietary recall.
In Ikawa, mean intake of vitamin A (β-carotene and retinol) increased by 13–40 %; vitamins C and E increased by approximately 23–33 % among men and women from 1974–1977 to 1998–2000. In Kyowa, mean intake of vitamin A, primarily retinol, increased by 13–21 % among men and women; vitamin C from fruits decreased by 16 % among men; and vitamin E increased by 29 % among women from 1982–1986 to 1998–2001. Mean intake of vitamin E in the latest survey period was lower than the Adequate Intake among men and women in both communities. Generally, there were increased intakes of β-carotene and vitamin C from green/yellow and other vegetables; increased retinol intake from fish/shellfish, eggs, milk/dairy products and fats/oils; and increased vitamin E intake from green/yellow and other vegetables, fish/shellfish, eggs, milk/dairy products and fats/oils.
Mean intakes of the antioxidant vitamins A, C and E increased among middle-aged Japanese men and women between the 1970s and the 1990s except for decreased vitamin C among Kyowa men. The lower mean intake of vitamin E than the Adequate Intake should be considered a potential public health issue for the prevention of CVD.
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