New analytical data of Finnish foods were utilized in calculating the intakes of 8 different carotenoids, 6 retinoids, 4 tocopherols and tocotrienols in a Finnish population sample (5403 men and 4750 women) forming a basis for prospective studies on the associations of diet and chronic diseases. Data on habitual food consumption referring to the preceding year were collected by a dietary history interview method in 1967-1972. Beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene, mainly provided by different vegetables, were the most abundant carotenoids. Alltrans retinol was a predominant retinoid compound. A major proportion of total vitamin A (85% in men and 74% in women) was attributed to dietary retinoids. Alpha-tocopherol accounted for approximately half of the total tocopherols and tocotrienols of diet, and made up approximately 85% of total vitamin E. Intakes of different tocopherols and tocotrienols were mainly associated with the consumption of cereal products and/or margarine and oils, but alpha-tocopherol and vitamin E had several other food sources. It is suggested that these more specific measures for carotenoids and tocopherols would increase the accuracy of estimating health impacts of antioxidant vitamins in the study population.
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