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Eur J Nutr. 2017 Apr;56(3):1045-1052. doi: 10.1007/s00394-016-1152-x. Epub 2016 Jan 27.

Association between leukocyte telomere length and serum carotenoid in US adults.

Author information

1
Department of Environmental Medicine, College of Medicine, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea.
2
Institute of Health and Environment, School of Public Health, Seoul National University, 599 Gwanak, Gwanak-ro, Gwanak-gu, Seoul, 151-742, Republic of Korea. yaemin00@snu.ac.kr.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

Telomere length is a biomarker for aging. It is known that oxidative stress can accelerate telomere shortening, whereas antioxidants can delay their shortening. Carotenoids as antioxidants are favorably associated with health- and aging-related diseases caused by oxidative stress, but their association with telomere length is less certain. We investigated the association between blood carotenoid levels and leukocyte telomere length in a representative sample of US adults.

METHODS:

We analyzed 3660 participants aged 20 years and older in the 1999-2002 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The levels of carotenoids-alpha-carotene, beta-carotene (trans + cis), beta-cryptoxanthin, combined lutein/zeaxanthin, and trans-lycopene-were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. The leukocyte telomere length (T/S ratio) was assayed using the quantitative polymerase chain reaction method.

RESULTS:

A doubling of blood alpha-carotene, beta-carotene (trans + cis), and beta-cryptoxanthin was associated with approximately 2 % longer telomeres. Compared with the lowest carotenoid quartile of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene (trans + cis), and beta-cryptoxanthin, telomere length for adults with the highest quartiles was significantly increased by 5-8 %.

CONCLUSION:

We found that increasing levels of blood carotenoid were significantly associated with longer leukocyte telomeres in US adults. High intake of carotenoid-rich food may play a role in protecting telomeres and regulating telomere length.

KEYWORDS:

Antioxidant; Carotenoid; Oxidative stress; Telomere

PMID:
26818530
DOI:
10.1007/s00394-016-1152-x
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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