Fruit and vegetable intakes in relation to plasma nutrient concentrations in women in Shanghai, China.

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Public health nutrition, Volume 15, Issue 1, p.167-175 (2012)


2012, Center-Authored Paper, Public Health Sciences Division, Shared Resources, Specimen Processing Core Facility


OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the validity of fruit and vegetable intakes as it relates to plasma carotenoid and vitamin C concentrations in Chinese women, using three classification schemes. DESIGN: Intakes were calculated using an interviewer-administered FFQ. Fruits and vegetables, botanical groups and high-nutrient groups were evaluated. These three classification schemes were compared with plasma carotenoid and vitamin C concentrations from blood samples collected within 1 week of questionnaire completion. SETTING: Shanghai, China. SUBJECTS: Participants (n 2031) comprised women who had participated in a case-control study of diet and breast-related diseases nested within a randomized trial of breast self-examination among textile workers (n 266 064) RESULTS: Fruit intake was significantly (P < 0·05) and positively associated with plasma concentrations of α-tocopherol, β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, α-carotene, β-carotene, retinyl palmitate and vitamin C. Fruit intake was inversely associated with γ-tocopherol and lutein + zeaxanthin concentrations. Vegetable consumption was significantly and positively associated with γ-tocopherol and β-cryptoxanthin concentrations. Each botanical and high-nutrient group was also significantly associated with particular plasma nutrient concentrations. Fruit and vegetable intakes and most plasma nutrient concentrations were significantly associated with season of interview. CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that the manner in which fruits and vegetables are grouped leads to different plasma nutrient exposure information, which may be an important consideration when testing and generating hypotheses regarding disease risk in relation to diet. Interview season should be considered when evaluating the associations of reported intake and plasma nutrients with disease outcomes.