Objectives: To describe the intake of the fat-soluble nutrients retinol, beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin D and their food sources among 27 redefined centres in 10 countries participating in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.
Methods: Between 1995 and 2000, 36,034 subjects (age range: 35-74 years) completed a single standardized 24-h dietary recall using a computerized interview software program (EPIC-SOFT). Intakes of the fat-soluble nutrients were estimated using the standardized EPIC Nutrient Database.
Results: For all the nutrients, in most centres, men had a higher level of intake than did women, even after adjustments for total energy intake and anthropometric confounders. Distinct regional gradients from northern to southern European countries were observed for all nutrients. The level intake of beta-carotene and vitamin E also showed some differences by level of education, smoking status and physical activity. No meaningful differences in the nutrient intake were observed by age range.
Conclusions: These results show differences by study centre, gender, age and various lifestyle variables in the intake of retinol, beta-carotene, vitamin E and vitamin D between 10 European countries.