Author(s): Burri BJ, Neidlinger TR, Clifford AJ
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Abstract Dietary intakes of carotenoids are highly variable in human populations as are serum carotenoid concentrations. However, there are few controlled data relating carotenoid intake to concentration. Most of the data that are available are from measurements of the absorption and decay of large pharmacologic doses of carotenoids, and are therefore of unknown physiologic relevance. Our objective was to determine the half-life (t(1/2)) of the most abundant carotenoids in blood serum from healthy adult women living under controlled conditions. As part of two carotenoid isotopic studies, we measured serum concentrations of beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin and lycopene in 19 healthy young adult women that were fed controlled low carotenoid diets for approximately 10 wk. All other nutrients (vitamins A, E and C) were provided at 100-150\% of the 1989 U.S. recommended dietary allowance levels. Exercise and activities were controlled throughout the studies to simulate usual activity patterns. Carotenoid concentrations were measured by reversed-phase HPLC. Serum carotenoid concentration decreases during depletion followed first-order kinetics. The half-lives determined in decreasing order were as follows: lutein (76 d) > alpha-carotene (45 d) = beta-cryptoxanthin (39 d) = zeaxanthin (38 d) = beta-carotene (37 d) > lycopene (26 d). Half-lives were unrelated to physical or demographic characteristics such as body mass, body fat, racial background or age in these relatively homogeneous groups. Carotenoids decreased by similar first-order mechanisms, although the rates differed for individual carotenoids.
This article was published in J Nutr
and referenced in Journal of Forensic Biomechanics