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Relationships between micronutrient intake and biochemical indicators of nutrient adequacy in a ‘free-living’ elderly UK population

  • Angela L. Bailey (a1), Susan Maisey (a2), Susan Southon (a1), Anthony J. A. Wright (a1), Paul M. Finglas (a1) and Robert A. Fulcher (a2)...
Abstract

Nutritional assessments are frequently based on amounts of nutrients consumed. In the present paper the usefulness of nutrient intake data for assessing nutrient adequacy is examined in an elderly British population. Subjects were ‘free-living’ elderly aged 68-90 years (sixty men, eighty-five women) in Norwich. Forty-two of forty-nine surviving males and sixty-seven of seventy-nine surviving females were reassessed after 2 years. With few exceptions, estimated micronutrient intake was not statistically predictive of biochemical measures of nutrient adequacy. Initial biochemical measures of nutritional adequacy were compared with those found 2 years later in an attempt to assess whether initial biochemical assessment was predictive of the ‘longer term’situation. Biochemical measurements at the start of the study were correlated to the same measurements made 2 years later for: serum ferritin, haemoglobin and erythrocyte count, whole-blood Se-glutathione peroxidase (EC 1.11.1.9; males only), plasma Cu, alkaline phosphatase (EC 3.1.3.1), ascorbic acid, vitamin B6 (pyridoxal-5-phosphate), folate and vitamin B12, total erythrocyte thiamin (males only), riboflavin (erythrocyte glutathione reductase (EC 1.6.4.1) activation coefficient): but not for: erythrocyte Cu-superoxide dismutase (EC 1.15.1.1) or plasma Zn. Either only small changes, or no changes, in mean values were seen over the 2 years for most of the biochemical measures. One exception was a large increase in plasma folate. The only important ‘negative’ features seen at 2-year follow up were a large fall in serum ferritin concentration and a large increase in the activity of two antioxidant defence enzymes, superoxide dismutase and glutathione peroxidase. As judged by currently accepted biochemical deficiency threshold values, asmall proportion of subjects were possibly at risk of Fe (3% men; 1% women), folate (7%, 3%), thiamin (12%;3%) and vitamin C (15%; 17%) deficiency. Many more appeared to be at risk of vitamin B6 (42%; 47%) and riboflavin (77%; 79%) deficiency. It was concluded that the requirements of the elderly for vitamins B1, B2 and C, and the biochemical deficiency threshold vahes used to indicate vitamin B6 deficiency, need review

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This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

M. J. Albert , V. I. Mathan & S. J. Baker (1980). Vitamin B12 synthesis by human small intestinal bacteria. Nature 283,781782.

W. A. Behrens & R. Madere (1987). A highly sensitive HPLC method for the estimation of ascorbic and dehydro-ascorbic acid in tissues, biological fluids and foods. Analytical Biochemistry 165, 102107.

M. W. Borschel , A. Kirksey & B. R. Hamaker (1987). A micromethod for determination of plasma pyridoxal phosphate and its use in assessment of storage stability of the vitamer. Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition 6, 409413.

M. Naoi , H. Ichinose , T. Takahashi & T. Nagatsu (1988). Sensitive assay for the determination of pyridoxal-5-phosphate in enzymes using high performance liquid chromatography afterderivatization with cyanide. Journal of Chromatography 434,209214.

R. M. Russell (1992). Micronutrient requirements of the elderly. Nutrition Reviews 50, 463466.

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British Journal of Nutrition
  • ISSN: 0007-1145
  • EISSN: 1475-2662
  • URL: /core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition
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