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Nutr Metab Cardiovasc Dis. 2001 Aug;11(4 Suppl):78-81.

Increased fruit and vegetable consumption: potential health benefits.

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  • 1Nutrition and Consumer Science Division, Institute of Food Research, Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UA, UK.


In this European Union project, a Core human study was conducted in Ireland, Northern Ireland, Spain, France and The Netherlands. Oxidative and antioxidant status, vegetable and fruit consumption, and carotenoid intake of volunteers from different countries were compared. Response to increased carotenoid intake was determined. Attention was paid to whether the antioxidant capability of beta-carotene, lutein and lycopene demonstrated in vitro was apparent in relation to increased oxidation resistance of low-density-lipoprotein (LDL). Other (complementary) studies were undertaken and included determination of: protective effects of carotenoid-rich foods against LDL and DNA oxidative damage; carotenoid absorbability; barriers to increased vegetable consumption; and carotenoid content of fruits and vegetables frequently consumed in Europe. Our results demonstrated that carotenoid supplementation did not increase LDL oxidation resistance. However, increased consumption of carotenoid-rich fruits and vegetables did increase LDL oxidation resistance, and higher plasma concentration of total and specific carotenoids (pre-supplementation) was associated with lower DNA damage.

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