Special Issue "Carotenoids in Human Nutrition"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2020).

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Emmanuelle Reboul
Website
Guest Editor
Centre for CardioVascular and Nutrition research (C2VN), UMR 1260 INRA/ 1263 INSERM/ Aix-Marseille University, Faculté de Médecine Timone, 27 Bd Jean Moulin, Marseille cedex 5, France
Interests: fat-soluble vitamins; carotenoids; intestine; mixed micelles; membranes transporters; bioavailability

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Carotenoids represent a wide group of molecules mainly constituted by plant pigments. They are largely, but not only, provided by fruits and vegetables in our diet. Carotenoids are not considered as “micronutrients” as their essentiality has not been proven in humans yet. However, a growing research has shown that some carotenoids display specific health benefits regarding ocular disease and cancer prevention, and regulate metabolic pathways involved in energy metabolism and embryo development. Unfortunately, the different steps regulating their health benefits, including the optimisation of their amount and their stability in foods, their bioavailability, their metabolism and their mechanisms of action are only partly comprehended to date.

The aim of this Special Issue entitled “Carotenoids and Human Nutrition” is to offer an updated view point of this enthusing and multifaceted research area. We are currently in the process of calling for scientific reviews and original publications until 31 March 2020.

Dr. Emmanuelle Reboul
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Carotenoids
  • Food sources
  • Functional ingredient
  • Bioavailability
  • Metabolism
  • Human Health

Published Papers (14 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Effect of Astaxanthin on Activation of Autophagy and Inhibition of Apoptosis in Helicobacter pylori-Infected Gastric Epithelial Cell Line AGS
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1750; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061750 - 11 Jun 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection leads to the massive apoptosis of the gastric epithelial cells, causing gastric ulcers, gastritis, and gastric adenocarcinoma. Autophagy is a cellular recycling process that plays important roles in cell death decisions and can protect cells by [...] Read more.
Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) infection leads to the massive apoptosis of the gastric epithelial cells, causing gastric ulcers, gastritis, and gastric adenocarcinoma. Autophagy is a cellular recycling process that plays important roles in cell death decisions and can protect cells by preventing apoptosis. Upon the induction of autophagy, the level of the autophagy substrate p62 is reduced and the autophagy-related ratio of microtubule-associated proteins 1A/1B light chain 3B (LC3B)-II/LC3B-I is heightened. AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) are involved in the regulation of autophagy. Astaxanthin (AST) is a potent anti-oxidant that plays anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer roles in various cells. In the present study, we examined whether AST inhibits H. pylori-induced apoptosis through AMPK-mediated autophagy in the human gastric epithelial cell line AGS (adenocarcinoma gastric) in vitro. In this study, H. pylori induced apoptosis. Compound C, an AMPK inhibitor, enhanced the H. pylori-induced apoptosis of AGS cells. In contrast, metformin, an AMPK activator, suppressed H. pylori-induced apoptosis, showing that AMPK activation inhibits H. pylori-induced apoptosis. AST inhibited H. pylori-induced apoptosis by increasing the phosphorylation of AMPK and decreasing the phosphorylation of RAC-alpha serine/threonine-protein kinase (Akt) and mTOR in H. pylori-stimulated cells. The number of LC3B puncta in H. pylori-stimulated cells increased with AST. These results suggest that AST suppresses the H. pylori-induced apoptosis of AGS cells by inducing autophagy through the activation of AMPK and the downregulation of its downstream target, mTOR. In conclusion, AST may inhibit gastric diseases associated with H. pylori infection by increasing autophagy through the activation of the AMPK pathway. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary β-Carotene Rescues Vitamin A Deficiency and Inhibits Atherogenesis in Apolipoprotein E-Deficient Mice
Nutrients 2020, 12(6), 1625; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12061625 - 01 Jun 2020
Abstract
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major health problem, especially in developing countries. In this study, we investigated the effect of VAD from weaning to adulthood in apoE−/− mice. Three-week-old male mice were allocated into four diet groups: I. VAD II. VAD+vitamin [...] Read more.
Vitamin A deficiency (VAD) is a major health problem, especially in developing countries. In this study, we investigated the effect of VAD from weaning to adulthood in apoE−/− mice. Three-week-old male mice were allocated into four diet groups: I. VAD II. VAD+vitamin A (VA), 1500 IU retinyl-palmitate; III. VAD+β-carotene (BC), 6 g/kg feed, containing 50% all-trans and 50% 9-cis BC. IV. VAD with BC and VA (BC+VA). After 13 weeks, we assessed the size of atherosclerotic plaques and measured VA in tissues and BC in plasma and tissues. VAD resulted in diminished hepatic VA levels and undetectable brain VA levels compared to the other groups. BC completely replenished VA levels in the liver, and BC+VA led to a two-fold elevation of hepatic VA accumulation. In adipose tissue, mice fed BC+VA accumulated only 13% BC compared to mice fed BC alone. Atherosclerotic lesion area of BC group was 73% lower compared to VAD group (p < 0.05). These results suggest that BC can be a sole source for VA and inhibits atherogenesis. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Nutraceutical Effects of Lycopene in Experimental Varicocele: An “In Vivo” Model to Study Male Infertility
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1536; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051536 - 25 May 2020
Abstract
Varicocele is one of the main causes of infertility in men. Oxidative stress and consequently apoptosis activation contribute to varicocele pathogenesis, worsening its prognosis. Natural products, such as lycopene, showed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in several experimental models, also in testes. In this [...] Read more.
Varicocele is one of the main causes of infertility in men. Oxidative stress and consequently apoptosis activation contribute to varicocele pathogenesis, worsening its prognosis. Natural products, such as lycopene, showed antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects in several experimental models, also in testes. In this study we investigated lycopene effects in an experimental model of varicocele. Male rats (n = 14) underwent sham operations and were administered with vehicle (n = 7) or with lycopene (n = 7; 1 mg/kg i.p., daily). Another group of animals (n = 14) underwent surgical varicocele. After 28 days, the sham and 7 varicocele animals were euthanized, and both operated and contralateral testes were weighted and processed. The remaining rats were treated with lycopene (1 mg/kg i.p., daily) for 30 days. Varicocele rats showed reduced testosterone levels, testes weight, Bcl-2 mRNA expression, changes in testes structure and increased malondialdehyde levels and BAX gene expression. TUNEL (Terminal Deoxynucleotidyl Transferase dUTP Nick End Labeling) assay showed an increased number of apoptotic cells. Treatment with lycopene significantly increased testosterone levels, testes weight, and Bcl-2 mRNA expression, improved tubular structure and decreased malondialdehyde levels, BAX mRNA expression and TUNEL-positive cells. The present results show that lycopene exerts beneficial effects in testes, and suggest that supplementation with the tomato-derived carotenoid might be considered a novel nutraceutical strategy for the treatment of varicocele and male infertility. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Efficacy of Commercially Available Nutritional Supplements: Analysis of Serum Uptake, Macular Pigment Optical Density and Visual Functional Response
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1321; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051321 - 06 May 2020
Abstract
Purpose: To compare the change in serum carotenoids, macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual function with the intake of two commercially available nutritional supplements. Methods: Participants were given a 24-week supply of a lipid-based micronized liquid medical food, Lumega-Z™ (LM), containing 28 [...] Read more.
Purpose: To compare the change in serum carotenoids, macular pigment optical density (MPOD) and visual function with the intake of two commercially available nutritional supplements. Methods: Participants were given a 24-week supply of a lipid-based micronized liquid medical food, Lumega-Z™ (LM), containing 28 mg of the macular carotenoids lutein (L), zeaxanthin (Z) and meso-zeaxanthin (MZ), or given PreserVision™ AREDS 2 Formula (gel-caps; PV) containing 12 mg of the macular carotenoids L and Z, but no reported MZ. Serum levels of L, Z and MZ were obtained at baseline and after 12 weeks. Macular pigment optical densities (MPOD) and visual function were assessed at baseline and after 24 weeks. Results: Average blood serum concentrations of L, Z and MZ in the two groups at baseline were similar. The increases in L, Z and MZ were 0.434, 0.063 and 0.086 µmol/L vs. 0.100, 0.043 and 0.001 µmol/L, respectively, in the LM vs. PV group. From baseline to week 24, average MPOD in the LM-group increased by 0.064 from 0.418 to 0.482, whereas in the PV-group, it was essentially unchanged (0.461 to 0.459;). Although log-contrast sensitivity was improved in all groups under three conditions (photopic, mesopic and mesopic with glare), the change in log-contrast sensitivity was not statistically significant. Conclusion: Despite only a 2.3-fold higher carotenoid concentration than PV, LM supplementation provides approximately 3–4-fold higher absorption, which leads to a significant elevation of MPOD levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
Open AccessArticle
Pyropia yezoensis Extract Suppresses IFN-Gamma- and TNF-Alpha-Induced Proinflammatory Chemokine Production in HaCaT Cells via the Down-Regulation of NF-κB
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1238; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051238 - 27 Apr 2020
Abstract
Pyropia yezoensis, a red alga, is popular and harvested a lot in East Asia and is famous for its medicinal properties attributable to its bioactive compounds including amino acids (porphyra-334 and shinorine, etc.), polysaccharides, phytosterols, and pigments, but its anti-inflammatory effect and mechanism [...] Read more.
Pyropia yezoensis, a red alga, is popular and harvested a lot in East Asia and is famous for its medicinal properties attributable to its bioactive compounds including amino acids (porphyra-334 and shinorine, etc.), polysaccharides, phytosterols, and pigments, but its anti-inflammatory effect and mechanism of anti-atopic dermatitis (AD) have not been elucidated. In this study, we investigate the anti-AD effect of P. yezoensis extract (PYE) on mRNA and protein levels of the pro-inflammatory chemokines, thymus, and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC/CCL17) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22), in human HaCaT keratinocyte cells treated to interferon (IFN)-γ or tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α (10 ng/mL each). The effect of the PYE on extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) and other mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) was related to its suppression of TARC and MDC production by blocking NF-κB activation in HaCaT cells. Furthermore, astaxanthin and xanthophyll from P. yezoensis were identified as anti-AD candidate compounds. These results suggest that the PYE may improve AD and contained two carotenoids by regulating pro-inflammatory chemokines. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Correlation between Macular Pigment Optical Density and Neural Thickness and Volume of the Retina
Nutrients 2020, 12(4), 888; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12040888 - 25 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Macular pigment (MP), which is composed of lutein/zeaxanthin/mezo-zeaxanthin, is concentrated in the central part of the retina, the macula. It protects the macula by absorbing short-wavelength light and suppressing oxidative stress. To evaluate whether MP levels are related to retinal neural protection and [...] Read more.
Macular pigment (MP), which is composed of lutein/zeaxanthin/mezo-zeaxanthin, is concentrated in the central part of the retina, the macula. It protects the macula by absorbing short-wavelength light and suppressing oxidative stress. To evaluate whether MP levels are related to retinal neural protection and resulting health, we analyzed the association between the MP optical density (MPOD), and the macular thickness and volumes. Forty-three eyes of 43 healthy adult volunteers (21 men and 22 women; age: 22–48 (average 31.4 ± 1.1) years) were analyzed. Highly myopic eyes (<-6 diopters) were excluded. MPOD was measured using MPS2®, and the neural retinal thickness and volume were measured using optical coherence tomography. The mean MPOD was 0.589 ± 0.024, and it positively correlated with the central retinal thickness (P = 0.017, R = 0.360) and retinal volume of the fovea (1-mm diameter around the fovea; P = 0.029, R = 0.332), parafovea (1–3-mm diameter; P = 0.002, R = 0.458), and macula (6-mm diameter; P = 0.003, R = 0.447). In the macular area (diameter: 6 mm), MPOD was correlated with the retinal neural volume of the ganglion cell layer (P = 0.037, R = 0.320), inner plexiform layer (P = 0.029, R = 0.333), and outer nuclear layer (P = 0.020, R = 0.353). Thus, MPOD may help in estimating neural health. Further studies should determine the impact of MP levels on neuroprotection. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessCommunication
Carotenoids and Periodontal Infection
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 269; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010269 - 20 Jan 2020
Abstract
Periodontitis is a polymicrobial infectious disease that leads to inflammation of the gingiva, resulting in teeth loss by various causes such as inflammation-mediated bone resorption. Recently, many investigators have reported that the periodontitis resulting from persistent low-grade infection of Gram-negative bacteria such as [...] Read more.
Periodontitis is a polymicrobial infectious disease that leads to inflammation of the gingiva, resulting in teeth loss by various causes such as inflammation-mediated bone resorption. Recently, many investigators have reported that the periodontitis resulting from persistent low-grade infection of Gram-negative bacteria such as Porphyromonas gingivalis (Pg) is associated with increased atherosclerosis, diabetes mellitus, and other systemic diseases through blood stream. On the other hand, carotenoids belong among phytochemicals that are responsible for different colors of the foods. It is important to examine whether carotenoids are effective to the inhibition of periodontal infection/inflammation cascades. This review summarizes the advanced state of knowledge about suppression of periodontal infection by several carotenoids. A series of findings suggest that carotenoids intake may provide novel strategy for periodontitis treatment, although further study will be needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Determinants and Suitability of Carotenoid Reflection Score as a Measure of Carotenoid Status
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 113; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010113 - 01 Jan 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Carotenoids, orange-coloured pigments found in vegetables, fruit, eggs and dairy foods, act as antioxidants and vitamin A precursors in the human body. Skin carotenoid concentration is a biomarker of vegetable and fruit intake. The aim was to identify determinants of skin carotenoid concentration [...] Read more.
Carotenoids, orange-coloured pigments found in vegetables, fruit, eggs and dairy foods, act as antioxidants and vitamin A precursors in the human body. Skin carotenoid concentration is a biomarker of vegetable and fruit intake. The aim was to identify determinants of skin carotenoid concentration by measuring “Veggie Meter™” carotenoid reflection spectroscopy scores (CRS) from the fingertip of adults with a range of ages, ethnicity and body size. Frequencies of daily intake of vegetables and fruit and weekly intake of pumpkin and carrot, dark green leafy vegetables (DGLV), eggs (yolk), and dairy were determined from a self-completed food-frequency-questionnaire. A total of 571 (324 Women, 247 Men) adults, aged 16 to 85 years, completed measurements. The CRS ranged from 83 to 769, with a median of 327. Women and men did not score differently. For all participants there were negative correlations of CRS with weight (r = −0.312) and BMI (r = −0.338) and positive correlations with weekly intakes of DGLV (r = 0.242) and carrots and pumpkin (r = 0.202). Based on a review of health outcomes associated with plasma carotenoids, 82% of the participants in the current study are at moderate risk, or more, of negative health outcomes. Determinants of carotenoid status were body size, intake of DGLV, carrots and pumpkin, and ethnicity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Sea Buckthorn Oil as a Valuable Source of Bioaccessible Xanthophylls
Nutrients 2020, 12(1), 76; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12010076 - 27 Dec 2019
Cited by 5
Abstract
Sea buckthorn oil, derived from the fruits of the shrub, also termed seaberry or sandthorn, is without doubt a strikingly rich source of carotenoids, in particular zeaxanthin and β-carotene. In the present study, sea buckthorn oil and an oil-in-water emulsion were subjected to [...] Read more.
Sea buckthorn oil, derived from the fruits of the shrub, also termed seaberry or sandthorn, is without doubt a strikingly rich source of carotenoids, in particular zeaxanthin and β-carotene. In the present study, sea buckthorn oil and an oil-in-water emulsion were subjected to a simulated gastro-intestinal in vitro digestion, with the main focus on xanthophyll bioaccessibility. Zeaxanthin mono- and di-esters were the predominant carotenoids in sea buckthorn oil, with zeaxanthin dipalmitate as the major compound (38.0%). A typical fatty acid profile was found, with palmitic (49.4%), palmitoleic (28.0%), and oleic (11.7%) acids as the dominant fatty acids. Taking into account the high amount of carotenoid esters present in sea buckthorn oil, the use of cholesterol esterase was included in the in vitro digestion protocol. Total carotenoid bioaccessibility was higher for the oil-in-water emulsion (22.5%) compared to sea buckthorn oil (18.0%) and even higher upon the addition of cholesterol esterase (28.0% and 21.2%, respectively). In the case of sea buckthorn oil, of all the free carotenoids, zeaxanthin had the highest bioaccessibility (61.5%), followed by lutein (48.9%), making sea buckthorn oil a potential attractive source of bioaccessible xanthophylls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Apo-14´-Carotenoic Acid Is a Novel Endogenous and Bioactive Apo-Carotenoid
Nutrients 2019, 11(9), 2084; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11092084 - 04 Sep 2019
Cited by 1
Abstract
Carotenoids can be metabolized to various apo-carotenoids and retinoids. Apo-15´-carotenoic acid (retinoic acid, RA) is a potent activator of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) in its all-trans- (ATRA) and 9-cis- (9CRA) forms. In this study we show firstly, that apo-14´-carotenoic [...] Read more.
Carotenoids can be metabolized to various apo-carotenoids and retinoids. Apo-15´-carotenoic acid (retinoic acid, RA) is a potent activator of the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) in its all-trans- (ATRA) and 9-cis- (9CRA) forms. In this study we show firstly, that apo-14´-carotenoic acid (A14CA), besides retinoic acids, is present endogenously and with increased levels in the human organism after carrot juice supplementation rich in β-carotene. All-trans-A14C (ATA14CA) is just a moderate activator of RAR-transactivation in reporter cell lines but can potently activate retinoic acid response element (RARE)-mediated signalling in DR5/RARE-reporter mice and potently increase retinoid-reporter target gene expression in ATA14CA-supplemented mice and treated MM6 cells. Further metabolism to all-trans-13,14-dihydroretinoic acid (ATDHRA) may be the key for its potent effects on retinoid target gene activation in ATA14CA-treated MM6 cells and in liver of supplemented mice. We conclude that besides RAs, there are alternative ways to activate RAR-response pathways in the mammalian organism. ATA14CA alone and in combination with its metabolite ATDHRA may be an alternative pathway for potent RAR-mediated signalling. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Dietary Habits, Fatty Acids and Carotenoid Levels Are Associated with Neovascular Age-Related Macular Degeneration in Chinese
Nutrients 2019, 11(8), 1720; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11081720 - 25 Jul 2019
Cited by 4
Abstract
The role of diet and circulatory carotenoids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are implicated in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but not well studied in Chinese. However, other fatty acids were not comprehensively evaluated if it had additional consequence on AMD. [...] Read more.
The role of diet and circulatory carotenoids and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) are implicated in age-related macular degeneration (AMD) but not well studied in Chinese. However, other fatty acids were not comprehensively evaluated if it had additional consequence on AMD. This study investigated the relationship among dietary habits, fatty acids levels, carotenoids and AMD in Hong Kong Chinese adults. In this cross-sectional case-controlled study, plasma fatty acids including, saturated fatty acids (SFA), monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFA) and polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA), and carotenoids levels were quantified between patients with neovascular AMD (n = 99) and age-gender-matched controls (n = 198). A food frequency questionnaire was also conducted. Low blood carotenoid levels and omega-3 PUFAs namely DHA, EPA and α-linolenic acid increased the odds ratio of developing neovascular AMD. High blood omega-6 PUFAs specifically arachidonic acid and eicosadienoic acid, oleic acid (a MUFA) and SFA levels increased the odds ratio of having neovascular AMD. Neovascular AMD group had significantly less omega-3 PUFA rich food (vegetables, nuts, seafood) intake and higher SFA (meat) intake than controls. In short, neovascular AMD was associated with lower circulatory levels of carotenoids and omega-3 PUFAs, and higher level of omega-6 PUFAs, oleic acid and SFAs in the Hong Kong Chinese population. These findings enhance the understandings of dietary impacts on neovascular AMD and provide a context for future nutritional intervention studies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle
Life after Harvest: Circadian Regulation in Photosynthetic Pigments of Rocket Leaves during Supermarket Storage Affects the Nutritional Quality
Nutrients 2019, 11(7), 1519; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu11071519 - 04 Jul 2019
Abstract
Vegetables, once harvested and stored on supermarket shelves, continue to perform biochemical adjustments due to their modular nature and their ability to retain physiological autonomy. They can live after being harvested. In particular, the content of some essential nutraceuticals, such as carotenoids, can [...] Read more.
Vegetables, once harvested and stored on supermarket shelves, continue to perform biochemical adjustments due to their modular nature and their ability to retain physiological autonomy. They can live after being harvested. In particular, the content of some essential nutraceuticals, such as carotenoids, can be altered in response to environmental or internal stimuli. Therefore, in the present study, we wondered whether endogenous rhythms continue to operate in commercial vegetables and if so, whether vegetable nutritional quality could be altered by such cycles. Our experimental model consisted of rocket leaves entrained under light/darkness cycles of 12/12 h over 3 days, and then we examined free-run oscillations for 2 days under continuous light or continuous darkness, which led to chlorophyll and carotenoid oscillations in both constant conditions. Given the importance of preserving food quality, the existence of such internal rhythms during continuous conditions may open new research perspective in nutrition science. However, while chromatographic techniques employed to determine pigment composition are accurate, they are also time-consuming and expensive. Here we propose for the first time an alternative method to estimate pigment content and the nutritional quality by the use of non-destructive and in situ optical techniques. These results are promising for nutritional quality assessments. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Why Is Zeaxanthin the Most Concentrated Xanthophyll in the Central Fovea?
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051333 - 07 May 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Diet-based xanthophylls (zeaxanthin and lutein) are conditionally essential polar carotenoids preferentially accreted in high concentrations (1 mM) to the central retina, where they have the capacity to impart unique physiologically significant biophysical biochemical properties implicated in cell function, rescue, and survival. Macular xanthophylls [...] Read more.
Diet-based xanthophylls (zeaxanthin and lutein) are conditionally essential polar carotenoids preferentially accreted in high concentrations (1 mM) to the central retina, where they have the capacity to impart unique physiologically significant biophysical biochemical properties implicated in cell function, rescue, and survival. Macular xanthophylls interact with membrane-bound proteins and lipids to absorb/attenuate light energy, modulate oxidative stress and redox balance, and influence signal transduction cascades implicated in the pathophysiology of age-related macular degeneration. There is exclusive transport, sequestration, and appreciable bioamplification of macular xanthophylls from the circulating carotenoid pool to the retina and within the retina to regions required for high-resolution sensory processing. The distribution of diet-based macular xanthophylls and the lutein metabolite meso-zeaxanthin varies considerably by retinal eccentricity. Zeaxanthin concentrations are 2.5-fold higher than lutein in the cone-dense central fovea. This is an ~20-fold increase in the molar ratio relative to eccentric retinal regions with biochemically detectable macular xanthophylls. In this review, we discuss how the differences in the specific properties of lutein and zeaxanthin could help explain the preferential accumulation of zeaxanthin in the most vulnerable region of the macula. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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Open AccessReview
Effects of Lutein and Astaxanthin Intake on the Improvement of Cognitive Functions among Healthy Adults: A Systematic Review of Randomized Controlled Trials
Nutrients 2020, 12(3), 617; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12030617 - 27 Feb 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Background: Fruits and vegetables are generally rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids. Consumption of carotenoids is expected to have benefits on cognitive functions in humans. However, previous randomized controlled trials (RCT) using carotenoids have reported inconsistent results. Therefore, this systematic review (SR) aimed [...] Read more.
Background: Fruits and vegetables are generally rich in antioxidants such as carotenoids. Consumption of carotenoids is expected to have benefits on cognitive functions in humans. However, previous randomized controlled trials (RCT) using carotenoids have reported inconsistent results. Therefore, this systematic review (SR) aimed to summarize the effect of carotenoid intake on cognitive functions in humans. Method: PubMed, Cochrane Library, Web of Science, and PsychoINFO were searched for research papers on carotenoid intake with the criteria that 1) oral carotenoid intake was evaluated using RCTs, 2) participants were healthy young, middle-aged, or older, and 3) cognitive functions were measured using RCTs. Results: Five studies using lutein and two studies using astaxanthin met the inclusion criteria. Consumption of lutein and its isomer showed consistent results in selective improvement of visual episodic memory in young and middle-aged adults while inhibition was observed in middle-aged and older adults. One of the two included astaxanthin studies reported a significant improvement of verbal episodic memory performance in middle-aged adults. Conclusion: This SR showed that the 10 mg lutein per day for twelve months can lead to improvement of cognitive functions. Due to the small number of studies, it is difficult to conclude whether astaxanthin would have a positive effect on cognitive functions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Carotenoids in Human Nutrition)
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