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Effect of supplemental beta-carotene on plasma concentrations of carotenoids, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol in humans

Mayne, S.T.; Cartmel, B.; Silva, F.; Kim, C.S.; Fallon, B.G.; Briskin, K.; Zheng, T.; Baum, M.; Shor-Posner, G.; Goodwin, W.J.

American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 68(3): 642-647

1998


ISSN/ISBN: 0002-9165
PMID: 9734742
DOI: 10.1093/ajcn/68.3.642
Accession: 008547884

High doses of beta-carotene, a lipid-soluble nutrient, may affect the plasma concentrations of other lipid-soluble nutrients. The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of long-term daily supplementation with beta-carotene (50 mg/d) on circulating concentrations of other carotenoids, retinol, and alpha-tocopherol over time. Data were available from 259 men and women participating in the Carotene Prevention Trial, a 2-center chemoprevention trial designed to determine whether supplemental beta-carotene can prevent second malignant tumors in patients cured of an early stage cancer of the oral cavity, pharynx, or larynx. Up to 2 blood samples were obtained before the intervention (before and after a 1-mo placebo run-in), with postrandomization samples obtained at 3, 12, 24, 36, 48, and 60 mo. Supplementation with beta-carotene produced a persistent 9- to 10-fold increase in median plasma beta-carotene concentrations (225 nmol/L at baseline to 2255 nmol/L at 3 mo) and a persistent 2-fold increase in median plasma alpha-carotene concentrations (45 nmol/L at baseline to 95 nmol/L at 3 mo). Concentrations of retinol, alpha-tocopherol, lycopene, and lutein/zeaxanthin were not affected by supplemental beta-carotene. Up to 5 y of daily supplementation with beta-carotene increased circulating concentrations of alpha- and beta-carotene, but did not alter concentrations of lycopene, lutein/zeaxanthin, retinol, or alpha-tocopherol.

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