Carotenoids have shown an interindividual variability that may be due to genetic factors. The only study that has reported heritability of serum α- and β-carotene has not considered the environmental component. This study aimed to estimate the contribution of both genetic and common environmental effects to the variance of carotenoid concentrations and to test whether their phenotypic correlations with cardiometabolic risk factors are explained by shared genetic and environmental effects. Plasma carotenoid concentrations (α-carotene, β-carotene, β-cryptoxanthin, lutein, lycopene, zeaxanthin, and total carotenoids) of 48 healthy subjects were measured. Heritability estimates of carotenoid concentrations were calculated using the variance component method. Lutein and lycopene showed a significant familial effect (p
= 6 × 10−6
and 0.0043, respectively). Maximal heritability, genetic heritability, and common environmental effect were computed for lutein (88.3%, 43.8%, and 44.5%, respectively) and lycopene (45.2%, 0%, and 45.2%, respectively). Significant phenotypic correlations between carotenoid concentrations and cardiometabolic risk factors were obtained for β-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, and zeaxanthin. Familial resemblances in lycopene concentrations were mainly attributable to common environmental effects, while for lutein concentrations they were attributable to genetic and common environmental effects. Common genetic and environmental factors may influence carotenoids and cardiometabolic risk factors, but further studies are needed to better understand the potential impact on disease development.
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