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Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Micronutrients and Human Health".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 November 2022) | Viewed by 16300

Special Issue Editor

Metabolism and Nutrition Department, Institute of Food Science, Technology and Nutrition, Spanish National Research Council (ICTAN-CSIC), Madrid, Spain
Interests: carotenoids in the context diet and health / disease; fat-soluble vitamins; bioavailability; biomarkers
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carotenoids are lipophilic isoprenoid compounds synthesized by photosynthetic organism and some non-photosynthethic prokaryotes and fungi. Humans cannot synthesize carotenoids, and so they must be obtained from the diet, where a wide range of carotenes and xanthopylls are available to be absorbed. Some of them are used as precursors for the production of retinoids such as vitamin A and, in addition, carotenoids display other biological functions that may confer beneficial effect against chronic diseases (i.e., lutein in the eye and in the brain). However, positive and negative health effects have been found or are correlated with carotenoid intake and tissue concentrations, and thus, more data from human nutritional studies, including health and disease markers (preferably analytical and clinically validated), are needed to issue recommendations with regard to carotenoid intake or desired blood or tissue concentrations.

Carotenoid biomarkers, broadly divided into direct, biochemical or “analytical” markers and indirect, physiological or “functional” indicators, are a key issue in nutritional studies. In general, analytical markers of carotenoids comprise biochemical indicators of intake and/or status (short- and long-term exposure, in blood and tissues, i.e., adipose tissue, skin, macular pigment), while functional markers evaluate the effect or biological activity associated with a carotenoid or its absence which may be interpreted in terms of cumulative exposure, biological effect (bioactivity) or the modification of risk factors. Both types of marker display advantages and limitations, but, in general, a relationship exists between the type of marker, the biological specimen and the time required for a change to occur.

This Special Issue encourages the submission of original research, meta-analyses and reviews of the scientific literature on the aforementioned issues and also on methodological, host-related and modulating factors relevant in assessing and interpreting carotenoid biomarkers of nutritional dietary intake/exposure and nutritional status in human health and disease.

Dr. Begoña Olmedilla-Alonso
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • carotenes
  • xanthophyll
  • lutein
  • zeaxanthin
  • cryptoxanthin
  • lycopene
  • biomarker
  • dietary intake assessment
  • nutritional status
  • blood and tissues

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Editorial

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3 pages, 205 KiB  
Editorial
Carotenoid Markers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status
Nutrients 2023, 15(10), 2359; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15102359 - 18 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 750
Abstract
Carotenoids are lipophilic isoprenoid compounds synthesized by photosynthetic organisms and some non-photosynthethic prokaryotes and fungi [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status)

Research

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15 pages, 337 KiB  
Article
Validation of Diet ID™ in Predicting Nutrient Intake Compared to Dietary Recalls, Skin Carotenoid Scores, and Plasma Carotenoids in University Students
Nutrients 2023, 15(2), 409; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020409 - 13 Jan 2023
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3876
Abstract
Background and Aim: Collecting accurate dietary information in the research setting is challenging due to the inherent biases, duration, and resource-intensive nature of traditional data collection methods. Diet ID™ is a novel, rapid assessment method that uses an image-based algorithm to identify dietary [...] Read more.
Background and Aim: Collecting accurate dietary information in the research setting is challenging due to the inherent biases, duration, and resource-intensive nature of traditional data collection methods. Diet ID™ is a novel, rapid assessment method that uses an image-based algorithm to identify dietary patterns and estimate nutrient intake. The purpose of this analysis was to explore the criterion validity between Diet ID™ and additional measures of dietary intake. Methods: This prospective cohort study (n = 42) collected dietary information using Diet ID™, the Nutrition Data System for Research (NDSR), plasma carotenoid concentrations, and the Veggie Meter® to estimate carotenoid levels in the skin. Results: There were significant correlations between Diet ID™ and NDSR for diet quality, calories, carbohydrates, protein, fiber, and cholesterol. Vitamin A and carotenoid intake were significantly correlated, with the exception of α-carotene and lycopene. Significant correlations were observed for calcium, folate, iron, sodium, potassium, Vitamins B2, B3, B6, C, and E. Skin carotenoid scores and plasma carotenoids were correlated with carotenoid intake from Diet ID™. Conclusions: Diet ID™ may be a useful tool in nutrition research as a less time-intensive and minimally burdensome dietary data collection method for both participants and researchers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status)
12 pages, 1647 KiB  
Article
Status and Dietary Intake of Phytoene and Phytofluene in Spanish Adults and the Effect of a Four-Week Dietary Intervention with Lutein-Rich Fruits or Vegetables
Nutrients 2022, 14(14), 2922; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142922 - 17 Jul 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1494
Abstract
Phytoene (PT) and phytofluene (PTF) are colourless carotenoids presents in the human diet and in blood, faeces and tissues and are biologically active. However, there is very little data on these carotenoids. This study aims to assess PT and PTF concentrations in serum [...] Read more.
Phytoene (PT) and phytofluene (PTF) are colourless carotenoids presents in the human diet and in blood, faeces and tissues and are biologically active. However, there is very little data on these carotenoids. This study aims to assess PT and PTF concentrations in serum from healthy Spanish normolipemic subjects (n = 101, 45–65 years) and the effect of a fruit and vegetable dietary intervention (4 weeks, n = 29) on PT and PTF concentration in serum and faeces and dietary intake. Serum and faecal concentrations were analysed by HPLC and dietary intake by 3 × 24 h recalls. PT showed higher concentrations than PTF in serum, faeces and in the dietary intake. Considering both studies, PT and PTF concentrations in serum were 0.16 ± 0.07 and 0.05 ± 0.04 µmol/L, respectively, in faeces 17.7 ± 20.3 and 6.5 ± 7.9 µg/g, respectively, and in dietary intake the median was 2.4 and 0.6 mg/p/day, respectively. Carrots and tomatoes were the major dietary contributors of these carotenoids. The dietary intervention did not cause significant variations in the PT and PTF intake or serum concentrations, but a lower concentration in faeces was observed for the fruit group (PT: p = 0.024; PTF isomer-3: p = 0.034). These data highlight the need for further research on the activities of these carotenoids in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status)
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15 pages, 1286 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Food Sources and the Intake of the Colourless Carotenoids Phytoene and Phytofluene in Spain
Nutrients 2021, 13(12), 4436; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13124436 - 11 Dec 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 3173
Abstract
Phytoene (PT) and phytofluene (PTF), colorless carotenoids, have largely been ignored in food science studies, food technology, and nutrition. However, they are present in commonly consumed foods and may have health-promotion effects and possible uses as cosmetics. The goal of this study is [...] Read more.
Phytoene (PT) and phytofluene (PTF), colorless carotenoids, have largely been ignored in food science studies, food technology, and nutrition. However, they are present in commonly consumed foods and may have health-promotion effects and possible uses as cosmetics. The goal of this study is to assess the most important food sources of PT and PTF and their dietary intakes in a representative sample of the adult Spanish population. A total of 62 food samples were analyzed (58 fruit and vegetables; seven items with different varieties/color) and carotenoid data of four foods (three fruits and one processed food) were compiled. PT concentration was higher than that of PTF in all the foods analyzed. The highest PT content was found in carrot, apricot, commercial tomato juice, and orange (7.3, 2.8, 2.0, and 1.1 mg/100 g, respectively). The highest PTF level was detected in carrots, commercial tomato sauce and canned tomato, apricot, and orange juice (1.7, 1.2, 1.0, 0.6, and 0.04 mg/100 g, respectively). The daily intakes of PT and PTF were 1.89 and 0.47 mg/person/day, respectively. The major contributors to the dietary intake of PT (98%) and PTF (73%) were: carrot, tomato, orange/orange juice, apricot, and watermelon. PT and PTF are mainly supplied by vegetables (81% and 69%, respectively). Considering the color of the edible part of the foods analyzed (fruit, vegetables, sauces, and beverages), the major contributor to the daily intake of PT and PTF (about 98%) were of red/orange color. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status)
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18 pages, 1253 KiB  
Article
Changes in Lutein Status Markers (Serum and Faecal Concentrations, Macular Pigment) in Response to a Lutein-Rich Fruit or Vegetable (Three Pieces/Day) Dietary Intervention in Normolipemic Subjects
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3614; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103614 - 15 Oct 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2263
Abstract
Lutein is mainly supplied by dietary fruit and vegetables, and they are commonly jointly assessed in observational and interventional studies. Lutein bioavailability and health benefits depend on the food matrix. This study aimed to assess the effect of dietary intervention with lutein-rich fruit [...] Read more.
Lutein is mainly supplied by dietary fruit and vegetables, and they are commonly jointly assessed in observational and interventional studies. Lutein bioavailability and health benefits depend on the food matrix. This study aimed to assess the effect of dietary intervention with lutein-rich fruit or vegetables on lutein status markers, including serum and faecal concentrations (by high pressure liquid chromatography), dietary intake (24 h recalls ×3), and macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and contrast threshold (CT) as visual outcomes. Twenty-nine healthy normolipemic subjects, aged 45–65 y, consumed 1.8 mg lutein/day supplied from fruits (14 subjects, 500 g/day of oranges, kiwi and avocados) or vegetables (15 subjects, 180 g/day of green beans, pumpkin, and sweet corn) for four weeks. Serum lutein concentration increased by 37%. The effect of the food group intervention was statistically significant for serum lutein+zeaxanthin concentration (p = 0.049). Serum α- and β-carotene were influenced by food type (p = 0.008 and p = 0.005, respectively), but not by time. Serum lutein/HDL-cholesterol level increased by 29% (total sample, p = 0.008). Lutein+zeaxanthin/HDL-cholesterol increased, and the intervention time and food group eaten had an effect (p = 0.024 and p = 0.010, respectively) which was higher in the vegetable group. The MPOD did not show variations, nor did it correlate with CT. According to correlation matrixes, serum lutein was mainly related to lutein+zeaxanthin expressed in relation to lipids, and MPOD with the vegetable group. In faecal samples, only lutein levels increased (p = 0.012). This study shows that a relatively low amount of lutein, supplied by fruit or vegetables, can have different responses in correlated status markers, and that a longer intervention period is needed to increase the MPOD. Therefore, further study with larger sample sizes is needed on the different responses in the lutein status markers and on food types and consumption patterns in the diet, and when lutein in a “pharmacological dose” is not taken to reduce a specific risk. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status)
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Review

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17 pages, 3453 KiB  
Review
What Is the Current Direction of the Research on Carotenoids and Human Health? An Overview of Registered Clinical Trials
Nutrients 2022, 14(6), 1191; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14061191 - 11 Mar 2022
Cited by 17 | Viewed by 3358
Abstract
Carotenoids have been the object of numerous observational, pre-clinical and interventional studies focused on elucidating their potential impacts on human health. However, the large heterogeneity among the trials, in terms of study duration and characteristics of participants, makes any conclusion difficult to draw. [...] Read more.
Carotenoids have been the object of numerous observational, pre-clinical and interventional studies focused on elucidating their potential impacts on human health. However, the large heterogeneity among the trials, in terms of study duration and characteristics of participants, makes any conclusion difficult to draw. The present study aimed to explore the current carotenoid research trends by analyzing the characteristics of the registered clinical trials. A total of 193 registered trials on ClinicalTrials.gov and ISRCTN were included in the revision. Eighty-three studies were performed with foods, one-hundred-five with food supplements, and five with both. Among the foods tested, tomatoes and tomato-based foods, and eggs were the most studied. Lutein, lycopene, and astaxanthin were the most carotenoids investigated. Regarding the goals, 52 trials were focused on studying carotenoids’ bioavailability, and 140 studies investigated the effects of carotenoids on human health. The main topics included eye and cardiovascular health. Recently, the research has focused also on two new topics: cognitive function and carotenoid–gut microbiota interactions. However, the current research on carotenoids is still mostly focused on the bioavailability and metabolism of carotenoids from foods and food supplements. Within this context, the impacts/contributions of food technologies and the development of new carotenoid formulations are discussed. In addition, the research is still corroborating the previous findings on vision and cardiovascular health. Much attention has also been devoted to new research areas, such as the carotenoid–microbiota interactions, which could contribute to explaining the metabolism and the health effects of carotenoids; and the relation between carotenoids and cognitive function. However, for these topics the research is still only beginning, and further studies are need. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoid Biomarkers of Dietary Exposure and Nutritional Status)
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