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Am J Clin Nutr. 1996 Oct;64(4):594-602.

Human plasma carotenoid response to the ingestion of controlled diets high in fruits and vegetables.

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RM Russell, Jean Mayer US Department of Agriculture Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging, Tufts University, Boston, MA 02111, USA.


Plasma carotenoid responses were determined in 36 healthy men and women before and after being fed controlled diets with a moderate amount of fat (26% of total energy) and a high carotenoid content (approximately 16 mg/d) for two 15-d periods. In addition, broccoli (205 g/d) was provided either during the first or the second 15-d residency period in a crossover design. Plasma was digested with lipase and cholesterol esterase, and carotenoids were extracted and measured by using HPLC. Three oxygenated carotenoids (lutein, zeaxanthin, and cryptoxanthin), three hydro-carbon carotenoids (alpha-carotene, all-trans-beta-carotene, and 13-cis-beta-carotene), and four geometric isomers of lycopene (15-cis-, 13-cis-, 9-cis-, and all-trans-lycopene) were separated by using a C30 carotenoid column. A small unidentified peak coeluted with standard 9-cis-beta-carotene and was identified as zeta-carotene (lambda(max) = 400 nm). The concentrations of plasma lutein, cryptoxanthin, alpha-carotene, 13-cis-beta-carotene, all-trans-beta-carotene, and cis- and trans-lycopenes were all significantly increased (P < 0.05) on days 6-16 by the high-fruit and -vegetable diets. The provision of additional broccoli for 5 d to the basic high-carotenoid diet resulted in a further significant increase in the serum concentration of lutein compared with the feeding of the basic high-carotenoid diet alone. Most of the measurable carotenoids of human plasma can be increased by moderate alterations in diet within a short time, although the magnitude of the plasma response may be related to the baseline carotenoid concentrations.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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