British Journal of Nutrition vol:105 issue:6 pages:960-966
The objective of the present study was to assess the intake of naturally occurring plant sterols and beta-carotene via the overall diet of Belgian pre-school children and adults. Two different Belgian food consumption databases were used: (1) one with consumption data of pre-school children (2.5-6.5 years old) and (2) one with consumption data of adults (>= 15 years old). These consumption data were combined with a newly developed database containing the plant sterol and beta-carotene content in all relevant food items based on international food composition databases and scientific literature. The results show that Flemish pre-school children have a median plant sterol intake of 172 (interquartile range (IQR) = 47) and 184 (IQR = 52) mg/d for girls and boys, respectively. Their median beta-carotene intake was 1857 (IQR 1250) mu g/d, without significant difference between girls and boys. Belgian women and men have a median plant sterol intake of 218 (IQR 113) and 280 (IQR 158) mg/d, respectively, and a median beta-carotene intake of 2086 (IQR 1254) mu g/d (not significantly different between the sexes). The main food source of naturally occurring plant sterols was bread and other cereal products. For beta-carotene, the main food source was vegetables.