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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Deficient dietary intake of vitamin E in patients with taste and smell dysfunctions: is vitamin E a cofactor in taste bud and olfactory epithelium apoptosis and in stem cell maturation and development?

OBJECTIVES: We reviewed dietary intake of several nutrients in a large group of patients with taste and smell dysfunction, compared intake of these nutrients with standard values, and recognized that intake of vitamin E was significantly less than that of most other nutrients. Based on this observation we attempted to develop an hypothesis of the possible role vitamin E might play in these sensory disorders. METHODS: Vitamin E intake was measured in 250 patients with taste and smell dysfunctions. RESULTS: Intake of the vitamin was 3.2 +/- 0.2 mg/d (mean +/- standard error of the mean), or 36 +/- 2% of the recommended daily allowance, an intake significantly below that considered adequate. This diminished intake occurred with normal intake of total calories; protein; fat; carbohydrate; several vitamins, including thiamin, niacin, and pyridoxine; and the trace metals zinc, copper, and iron. CONCLUSIONS: Although specific relations between vitamin E intake and smell and taste dysfunctions are unclear, the non-antioxidant roles of vitamin E indicate that it is a factor in apoptosis, cellular signaling, and growth of various cell lines, suggesting that this vitamin may play a role in growth and development of stem cells in taste buds and olfactory epithelium.[1]


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