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Am J Clin Nutr. 1998 Jul;68(1):82-9.

Effect of simultaneous, single oral doses of beta-carotene with lutein or lycopene on the beta-carotene and retinyl ester responses in the triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein fraction of men.

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Department of Physiology and Kinetics, TNO Nutrition and Food Research Institute, Zeist, The Netherlands.


The effects of lutein and lycopene on beta-carotene absorption and cleavage were investigated in 12 male subjects. Responses of carotenoids and retinyl palmitate in the triacylglycerol-rich lipoprotein (TRL) fraction after a separate 15-mg beta-carotene dose were compared with those after a dose of 15 mg beta-carotene combined with 15 mg lycopene or lutein (given as natural concentrates or extracts). After combined dosing with lutein, the areas under the curve (AUCs) of beta-carotene and retinyl palmitate in the TRL fraction, adjusted for the triacylglycerol response, were 66% (P = 0.019) and 74% (P < 0.059), respectively, compared with 100% after dosing with beta-carotene alone. After combined dosing with lycopene these percentages were 90% and 101%, respectively (NS). Beta-carotene conversion, estimated from the ratio between the AUC for retinyl esters and beta-carotene, assuming eccentric cleavage, was 69%, 71%, and 72% for treatment with only beta-carotene, beta-carotene combined with lycopene, and beta-carotene combined with lutein, respectively. In addition, a pilot study was performed to evaluate application of TRL response curves to measure absorption of carotenoids from vegetable sources (15 mg carotenoid as carrots, spinach, and tomato paste). As compared with the carotenoid concentrates, responses were considerably lower or hardly measurable (beta-carotene and retinyl palmitate after carrots, lutein after spinach), except for lycopene and retinyl palmitate after a single dose of tomato paste. In conclusion, this study showed that lutein, but not lycopene, negatively affected beta-carotene absorption when given simultaneously with beta-carotene but apparently had no effect on beta-carotene cleavage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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