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Nutrients 2014, 6(12), 5572-5582; doi:10.3390/nu6125572

Supplementation of Adult Rats with Moderate Amounts of β-Carotene Modulates the Redox Status in Plasma without Exerting Pro-Oxidant Effects in the Brain: A Safer Alternative to Food Fortification with Vitamin A?

Centro de Estudos em Estresse Oxidativo, Departamento de Bioquímica, Instituto de Ciências Básicas da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul, Rua Ramiro Barcelos 2600, Anexo Depto. Bioquímica, Lab 32, CEP 90035-003, Porto Alegre, Brazil
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Received: 12 August 2014 / Revised: 10 November 2014 / Accepted: 18 November 2014 / Published: 1 December 2014
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Abstract

Despite the antioxidant potential of vitamin A, recent studies reported that chronic retinol ester supplementation can also exert pro-oxidant effects and neurotoxicity in vivo and raises the mortality rates among healthy subjects. Our aim was to find evidence for a safer (i.e., less toxic) molecule with provitamin A activity. Therefore, we investigated whether chronic supplementation of healthy Wistar rats with β-carotene (0.6, 3, and 6 mg/kg/day) would demonstrate antioxidant characteristics without leading to pro-oxidant side effects in the brain. Total reactive antioxidant potential (TRAP), thiobarbituric reactive species level (TBARS), and total reduced thiol content (SH) were evaluated in plasma. TBARS and SH were additionally evaluated in selected brain regions together with superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT) activity. In the present study, we show that β-carotene is able to exert antioxidant activity in plasma without triggering pro-oxidant events in the brain, providing evidence that may justify its further evaluation as a safer nutritional supplement with provitamin A activity. View Full-Text
Keywords: vitamin A; rat model; oxidative stress; retinol; toxicity; nutrition vitamin A; rat model; oxidative stress; retinol; toxicity; nutrition
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Schnorr, C.E.; Morrone, M.S.; Simões-Pires, A.; Bittencourt, L.S.; Zeidán-Chuliá, F.; Moreira, J.C.F. Supplementation of Adult Rats with Moderate Amounts of β-Carotene Modulates the Redox Status in Plasma without Exerting Pro-Oxidant Effects in the Brain: A Safer Alternative to Food Fortification with Vitamin A? Nutrients 2014, 6, 5572-5582.

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