CAROTENOIDS RESEARCH

Research Studies on Carotenoids

Here are a number of research studies on carotenoids and mixed-carotene complex in supporting eye, skin, heart bone, and metabolic health areas.

ArticleStudy Objective / Findings
EYE HEALTH
Serum carotenoids and risks of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in a Chinese population sample. She, C., Shang, F., Zhou, K., & Liu, N. (2017). Current Molecular Medicine.According to this cross-sectional study, serum β-carotene and α-carotene have been found to be associated in conferring protection against diabetes mellitus (DM) and diabetes retinopathy (DR) respectively,
Intakes of Lutein, Zeaxanthin, and Other Carotenoids and Age-Related Macular Degeneration During 2 Decades of Prospective Follow-up. Wu, J., et. al. (2015) JAMA Ophthalmol.α-carotene and β-carotene demonstrated 25% to 35% lower risks of developing advanced AMD. Plasma carotenoid scores for lutein and zeaxanthin demonstrated about 40% risk reduction.
SKIN HEALTH : Carotenoids minimize sunburn (erythema)
Orally administered mixed carotenoids protect human skin against Ultraviolet A‐induced skin pigmentation: A double blind, placebo controlled, randomized clinical trial. Baswan, S. M., et.al. (2020) Photodermatology, Photoimmunology & Photomedicine.Daily oral intake of carotenoids-complex, but not of placebo, increases UVA-induced MPPD values and hence protects human skin against UVA-induced pigmentation and UVA radiation.
Carotenoid supplementation reduces erythema in human skin after simulated solar radiation exposure. Lee, J. et.al. (2000). Proceedings of the Society Experimental Biology MedicineSupplementation with natural carotenoids may partially protect human skin from UVA- and UVB-induced erythema, although the magnitude of the protective effect is modest in a dose-dependent manner.
Carotenoids and carotenoids plus vitamin E protect against ultraviolet light-induced erythema in humans. Stahl, W., et.al. (2000). American Journal for Clinical NutritionThe suppression of erythema is greater with the combination of supplementation of carotenoids (beta-carotene, alpha-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin) with vitamin E than with carotenoids alone.
A clinical trial of the effects of oral beta-carotene on the responses of human skin to solar radiation. Mathews-Roth, M. M., et.al. (1972). The Journal of Investigative DermatologyThe threshold dose of sunlight to produce erythema (MED) is higher in individuals supplemented with beta-carotene, suggesting small effect in protecting against sunburn.
SKIN HEALTH : Mitigates Lipid Peroxidation
The antioxidant effect of palm fruit carotene on skin lipid peroxidation in guinea pigs as estimated by chemiluminescence-HPLC method. Miyazawa, T. et.al. (1994). Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitamology.The results suggested that palm fruit carotene intake reduces skin lipid peroxidation caused by UV irradiation.
SKIN HEALTH : Promotes Healthy Skin Tone
Consuming High-Carotenoid Fruit and Vegetables Influences Skin Yellowness and Plasma Carotenoids in Young Women: A Single-Blind Randomized Crossover Trial. Pezdirc, K, et.al. (2016). Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and DieteticHigh intake of carotenoid demonstrates significant higher plasma carotenoids (ie: alpha carotene, beta carotene and lutein) and significant increase in skin yellowness in both sun-exposed and unexposed skin areas with no changes in skin lightness or redness. Plasma alpha carotene and beta carotene are also correlated with skin yellowness.
BONE HEALTH
Greater serum carotenoid concentration associated with higher bone mineral density in Chinese adults. Zhang Z. Q., et.al. (2016). Osteoporos Int.The synergistic effect of high level of alpha-carotene, lycopene and beta-cryptoxanthin are associated with increased BMD at most skeletal sites in women. In men, only high serum alpha-carotene was significantly associated with increased BMD at all sites except for lumbar spine.
Dietary carotenoid intake as a predictor of bone mineral density Wattanapenpaiboon, N., et.al. (2003). Asia Pacific J Clin Nutr.Dietary beta-carotene is positively associated with lumbar spine bone mass in postmenopausal women. Lycopene intake is positively correlated with bone mass of total body and lumbar spine in men. Dietary carotenoid intake is linked with bone health.
HEALTHY AGING : Increases Telomere Length
Association between leukocyte telomere length and serum carotenoid in US adults. Min, KB. & Min JY. (2016). Eur J Nutr.Plasma blood level of alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin were significantly associated with longer telomeres. When comparing to the lowest carotenoid (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin) quartiles, the telomere length increased from 5-8% in the highest carotenoid quartiles cohort.
HEALTHY AGING : Attenuates Risks of Mortality from Chronic Diseases
Low Serum Selenium and Total Carotenoids Predict Mortality among Older Women Living in the Community. Ray, A.L, et.al (2006). American Society for NutritionHigher serum selenium and total carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin) are associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer, stroke, infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
HEART HEALTH
Low Serum Selenium and Total Carotenoids Predict Mortality among Older Women Living in the Community. Ray, A.L, et.al (2006). American Society for NutritionHigher serum selenium and total carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, lutein and zeaxanthin) are associated with a lower risk of mortality from heart disease, cancer, stroke, infection, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
Serum α-carotene concentrations and risk of death among US adults: The Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Follow-up Study. Li, C., et.al. (2011). JAMAA 14-year follow up epidemiology study demonstrates inverse association between high consumption of alpha-carotene from fruits and vegetables and decreased risk of death from cardiovascular disease among US adults aged 20 years and older.
Prospective study of plasma carotenoids and tocopherols in relation to risk of ischemic stroke. Hak, A.E., et. al. (2004). StrokePlasma alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene tend to be inversely related to risk of ischemic stroke.
Dietary carotenoids and risk of coronary artery disease in women. Osganian, S.K., et.al. (2003). Am J Clin NutrHigh intake of alpha-carotene and beta-carotene shows significant inverse association with risk of coronary artery disease.
High plasma levels of alpha-and beta carotene are associated with lower risk of atherosclerosis. Willeit, L. et.al. (2000). Atherosclerosis.The risk of atherosclerosis decreases with increasing plasma alpha- and beta-carotene concentrations
High plasma levels of alpha and beta-carotene are associated with a lower risk of atherosclerosis: results from the Bruneck study D’Odorico, A., et.al. (2000). Atherosclerosis.Alpha- and beta-carotene are inversely associated with the prevalence of atherosclerosis in the carotid and femoral arteries and with the 5-y incidence of atherosclerotic lesions.
Serum carotenoids and coronary heart disease: The Lipid Research Clinics Coronary Primary Prevention Trial and Follow-up Study. Morris, DL. et. al. (1994). JAMASerum carotenoids were inversely related to CHD events.
Poor plasma status of carotene and vitamin C is associated with higher mortality from ischemic heart disease and stroke: Basel Prospective Study. Gey, K.F., et. al. (1993). Clin InvestgLow plasma carotenoid concentrations significantly increased mortality from heart disease.
METABOLIC HEALTH
Carotenoids, Vitamin A, and Their Association with the Metabolic Syndrome: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Beydoun, M. A., et.al. (2018). Nutrition Reviews.This systematic review and meta-analysis suggested that total mixed carotenoids as well as individual carotenoids were inversely related to metabolic syndrome (MetS), but no association was observed between retinol (also known as vitamin A) and MetS.
Serum carotenoids and risks of diabetes and diabetic retinopathy in a Chinese population sample. She, C., Shang, F., Zhou, K., & Liu, N. (2017). Current Molecular Medicine.According to this cross-sectional study, serum β-carotene and α-carotene have been found to be associated in conferring protection against diabetes mellitus (DM) and diabetes retinopathy (DR) respectively,
The impact of micronutrient status on health: correlation network analysis to understand the role of micronutrients in metabolic-inflammatory processes regulating homeostasis and phenotypic flexibility. Van den Broek, et.al. (2017). Genes & NutritionThis study shows that alpha-carotene (a type of pro-vitamin A) plays a critical role in the maintenance of phenotypic flexibility (ie: ability to respond to physiological changes) in the context of plasma micronutrient status in healthy overweight subjects.
Effects of Mixed Carotenoids on Adipokines and Abdominal Adiposity in Children: A Pilot Study. Canas, J.A., et.al. (2017). J Clin Endocrinol MetabThis RCT showed that consumption of a multi carotenoid supplement leads to increased level of plasma adiponectin in young children with simple obesity. Adiponectin is thought to help enhance insulin sensitivity, mitigate inflammatory processes and promote heart healthy effects.
Dietary intake of carotenoids and risk of type 2 diabetes. Sluijs, I. et. al. (2015), Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular DiseasesA study conducted in Netherlands where 37,846 men and women recruited and followed up for a mean of 10 years found that high intake of α-carotene and β-carotene decreased the risks of type 2 diabetes among healthy men and women.
High-serum carotenoids associated with lower risk for developing type 2 diabetes among Japanese subjects: Mikkabi cohort study. Sugiura M., et. al. (2015). BMJ Open Diabetes Research & CareA 10-year follow-up study conducted among 1073 males and females age between 30 to 79 year-old from Japan showed inverse association between serum carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, zeaxanthin, lutein and lycopene) and the risk of type 2 diabetes development.
Diabetes mellitus and serum carotenoids: findings of a population-based study in Queensland, Australia. Coyne, T., et. al. (2005). American Society for Clinical Nutrition.Results show that fasting insulin concentrations decrease significantly with increased serum carotenoids (alpha-carotene, beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin and lycopene). High intake of carotenoids is associated with reduced impaired glucose metabolism.
Diabetes Mellitus and Serum Carotenoids: Findings from the Third National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. Ford, E. S., et.al. (1999). Am J Epidemiol.It was found that all serum carotenoids (α-carotene, β-carotene, cryptoxanthin, lutein/zeaxanthin, and lycopene) is inversely related to fasting serum insulin among approximately 1010 normal glucose tolerance and 655 glucose intolerance individuals. This suggests that carotenoids may play an important role in the pathogenesis of insulin resistance and diabetes.