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Predictors of adipose tissue tocopherol and toenail selenium levels in nine countries : the EURAMIC study

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Author: Virtanen, S.M. · Veer, P. van 't · Kok, F. · Kardinaal, A.F.M. · Aro, A. · for the EURAMIC Study Group
Institution: Centraal Instituut voor Voedingsonderzoek TNO
Source:European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 9, 50, 599-606
Identifier: 68784
Keywords: Nutrition · Adipose Tissue · Aged · Body Mass Index · Case-Control Studies · Europe · Fatty Acids, Unsaturated · Female · Humans · Israel · Male · Middle Aged · Nails · Predictive Value of Tests · Selenium · Sex Factors · Vitamin E · Hip ratio · Smoking · Tocopherol


Objective: To evaluate the levels of adipose tissue alpha-tocopherol, gamma-tocopherol, and toenail selenium and their determinants. Design: Control subjects from multicentre case-control study on antioxidants, myocardial infarction and cancer of the breast. Subjects and setting: 686 male and 339 female middle-aged and elderly subjects from eight European countries and Israel. Results: The antioxidant levels were lower in men than women; adipose tissue alpha-tocopherol level in men was 75% of that in women, gamma-tocopherol 79%, and toenail selenium 92%, respectively. In multiple regression analysis adjusting for age and centre waist circumference showed to be the only independent predictor of adipose tissue alpha-tocopherol level and waist/hip (W/H) ratio that of gamma-tocopherol level in men. In women no predictors of adipose tissue alpha-tocopherol or gamma-tocopherol level were found. Smoking and coffee use showed up to be the independent predictors of toenail selenium in men and smoking in women. Age, alcohol use, serum lipids, and reproductive factors were not related to the antioxidant levels. Conclusion: The inverse relationships of adipose tissue alpha-tocopherol and gamma-tocopherol levels with central fat distribution should be considered in studies relating the tocopherol levels to the development of chronic diseases in men, and the inverse relationship of toenail selenium with smoking both in men and women, and with coffee consumption in men, should be considered when toenail selenium level is used as a biomarker in epidemiological studies. Chemicals/CAS: Fatty Acids, Unsaturated; Selenium, 7782-49-2; Vitamin E, 1406-18-4