Vegetable consumption and carotenoids in plasma and adipose tissue in Malaga, Spain.Int J Vitam Nutr Res. 2003 Feb; 73(1):24-31.IJ
To study relationships between habitual dietary intake, adipose tissue concentrations of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene, and plasma concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene.
Cross-sectional study including assessment of food habits by a food frequency questionnaire and 48-hour recall and determination of carotenoid concentrations in adipose tissue and plasma.
51 women (mean age of 62 years) from the control group of the European Community Multicentre Study on Antioxidants, Myocardial Infarction, and Breast Cancer (EURAMIC), Málaga, Spain.
In adipose tissue, beta-carotene was correlated with consumption of green pepper (r = 0.36; p < 0.05) and lycopene with total fruit/vegetable intake (r = 0.28; p < 0.05), green pepper (r = 0.31; p < 0.05), and carrot (r = 0.25; p < 0.10). In plasma, beta-carotene was correlated with total fruit/vegetable intake (r = 0.29; p < 0.10), lettuce (r = 0.34; p < 0.05), tomato (r = 0.26; p < 0.10), and lycopene with total fruit/vegetable intake (r = 0.27; p < 0.10). Age-, BMI- and waist circumference-adjusted regression coefficients for the regression of logn-transformed adipose and plasma concentrations on consumption of specific fruits and vegetables (per 100 g/day) were calculated. In adipose tissue, coefficients were: 1.50 (p < 0.05) for alpha-carotene/carrot; 1.90 (p < 0.10) and 0.51 (p < 0.10) for beta-carotene/green pepper and lettuce; 2.02 (p < 0.05), 1.25 (p < 0.05) and 0.18 (p < 0.05) for lycopene/green pepper, carrot and total fruit/vegetable intake. In plasma, coefficients were 1.14 (p < 0.05) and 0.21 (p < 0.05) for beta-carotene/lettuce and total fruit/vegetable intake.
Consumption of fruit and vegetables could be linked directly to carotenoid concentrations in adipose tissue and plasma. Although associations with individual food items are related to their carotenoid contents, the absorption and distribution of carotenoids needs more attention to improve their usefulness as biomarkers of exposure.