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Am J Clin Nutr. 2006 Jan;83(1):163-9.

Modification of lymphocyte DNA damage by carotenoid supplementation in postmenopausal women.

Author information

1
Jean Mayer USDA-Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Oxidative stress has been implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic diseases related to aging such as cancer and cardiovascular disease. Carotenoids could be a part of a protective strategy to minimize oxidative damage in vulnerable populations, such as the elderly.

OBJECTIVE:

Our aim was to determine the protective effect of carotenoids against DNA damage.

DESIGN:

A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study was conducted. Thirty-seven healthy, nonsmoking postmenopausal women aged 50-70 y were randomly assigned to 1 of 5 groups and were instructed to consume a daily dose of mixed carotenoids (beta-carotene, lutein, and lycopene; 4 mg each), 12 mg of a single carotenoid (beta-carotene, lutein, or lycopene), or placebo for 56 d. Plasma carotenoid concentrations were analyzed by using HPLC, and lymphocyte DNA damage was measured by using a single-cell gel electrophoresis (comet) assay.

RESULTS:

At day 57, all carotenoid-supplemented groups showed significantly lower endogenous DNA damage than at baseline (P < 0.01), whereas the placebo group did not show any significant change. Significantly less (P < 0.05) endogenous DNA damage was found as early as day 15 in the mixed carotenoid (P < 0.01) and beta-carotene (P < 0.05) groups.

CONCLUSIONS:

The results indicate that carotenoid supplementation decreases DNA damage and that a combination of carotenoids (4 mg each of lutein, beta-carotene, and lycopene), an intake that can be achieved by diet, or a larger dose (12 mg) of individual carotenoids exerts protection against DNA damage.

PMID:
16400064
DOI:
10.1093/ajcn/83.1.163
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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