Previous studies have suggested that VE may affect bone health, but findings have been inconclusive. For this study, researchers examined the relationship between VE status (in both diet and serum) and BMD among Chinese adults. This community-based study included 3,203 adults (2,178 women and 1,025 men) aged 40–75 years from Guangzhou, People’s Republic of China.
General and dietary intake information were collected using structured questionnaire interviews. The serum alpha-tocopherol (TF) level was quantified by reversed-phase HPLC. The BMD of the whole body, the lumbar spine and left hip sites (total, neck, trochanter, intertrochanter and Ward’s triangle) were measured using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry.
In women, the dietary intake of VE was significantly and positively associated with BMD at the lumbar spine, total hip, intertrochanter and femur neck sites after adjusting for covariates (Ptrend: 0·001–0·017).
Women in quartile 3 of VE intake typically had the highest BMD; the covariate-adjusted mean BMD were 2·5, 3·06, 3·41 and 3·54% higher, respectively, in quartile 3 (v. 1) at the four above-mentioned sites.
Similar positive associations were observed between cholesterol-adjusted serum alpha-TF levels and BMD at each of the studied bone sites (Ptrend: 0·001–0·022). The covariate-adjusted mean BMD were 1·24–4·83% greater in quartile 4 (v. 1) in women.
However, no significant associations were seen between the VE levels (dietary or serum) and the BMD at any site in men.
Researchers concluded greater consumption and higher serum levels of VE were associated with greater BMD in Chinese women but not in Chinese men.