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BACKGROUND: Differences in dietary and supplementary intake of antioxidants were determine between different categories of smokers and never-smokers. METHODS: Data from a large, cross-sectional, population-based study were used. Subjects (n = 4244) were divided into five smoking categories according to the number of cigarettes smoked per day. Differences in intake of antioxidants or frequency of supplement use were assessed using multiple linear regression analysis and multiple logistic regression analysis, adjusting for potential confounders such as age, body mass index, education level, alcohol intake, and total energy intake. RESULTS: Men who smoked > 20 cigarettes/day had significantly lower intakes of beta-carotene and especially ascorbic acid compared to those who never smoked, resulting from an almost 60% lower fruit intake. Moderate and heavy smoking women also had lower ascorbic acid and fruit intake but differences were not as large as in men. A higher percentage of female heavy smokers compared with never-smokers consumed vitamin C (21.1% versus 14.1%), vitamin E (5.6% versus 1.8%), and multivitamin supplements (18.5% versus 12.2%). Among men only the moderate smokers differed significantly from never-smokers in supplement intake, in the sense that male moderate smokers had a higher percentage of multivitamin use (15.3% versus 12.2%) compared to never-smokers. CONCLUSIONS: Male heavy smokers not only have a lower dietary antioxidant intake than never-smokers, but additionally seem to use supplementation relatively infrequently.


Journal article


Int J Epidemiol

Publication Date





70 - 79


Adult, Analysis of Variance, Antioxidants, Ascorbic Acid, Carotenoids, Cross-Sectional Studies, Diet, Female, Fruit, Humans, Male, Middle Aged, Netherlands, Random Allocation, Regression Analysis, Smoking, Vegetables, Vitamins