Background/objectives: Current research in adults indicates that fruit and vegetable (FAV) consumption increases serum levels of vitamins C, E and folate of β-carotene and reduces homocysteine concentrations. The aim of the present study was to examine the association of FAV consumption on vitamin intakes and their impact on blood vitamin concentrations in European adolescents.
Subject/methods: This multi-center cross-sectional study included 702 (53.7% females) adolescents, aged 12.50-17.49 years, from 10 European cities. Two independent self-administered 24 h dietary recalls were used to estimate the adolescent's diet. The total energy, vitamins and FAV consumption were calculated. Adolescents were categorized into three groups: (i) very low FAV intake (<200 g/day); (ii) low FAV consumption (200-399 g/day) and (iii) adequate FAV consumption (⩾400 g/day). Adolescent's fasted blood samples were taken for their analysis on vitamin concentrations.
Results: The main results showed that those adolescents meeting the FAV recommendation, classified as FAV adequate consumers, presented higher intake of energy and some vitamins as B6, total folic acid, C, E and β-carotene compared with FAV very low consumers (P<0.05). Regarding their blood status, male adolescents who had a very low FAV consumption presented lower plasma folate, RBC folate blood concentrations compared with adequate FAV consumers (P<0.05). Female adequate FAV consumers had higher concentrations of pyridoxal phosphate (PLP), plasma folate, RBC folate, vitamin C, β-carotene and α-tocopherol compared with very low and low consumers (P<0.05).
Conclusions: Having a FAV dairy intake above 400 g/day is associated with higher vitamin intake and blood vitamin concentrations, especially for antioxidant and B-vitamins concentrations.