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Physiologically Significant Carotenoids and their Common Food Sources in Czech Population

I. Márová, B. Slovák, H. Bílková J. Očenášková, and P. Čvančarová

Department of Food Chemistry and Biotechnology, Faculty of Chemistry, Brno University of Technology, CZ-612 00 Brno


Abstract: Carotenoids are a group of lipid soluble pigments with antioxidative, photoprotective, and anticarcinogenic properties. In a random group of 187 volunteers the carotenoid content and composition in the serum was analyzed using HPLC on the reversed phase. Within the group evaluated, lutein was found to be the major serum carotenoid (mean 52.97 %, SD = 8.32 %), followed by β-carotene (10.77 %, SD = 1.53 %), lycopene (8.32 %, SD = 1.65 %), and α-carotene (4.40 %, SD = 0.71). Mean β-carotene level in the studied individuals was found smaller (0.406 ∓0.165 μmol dm-3) than the lower limit of physiological range (0.6-10 μmol dm-3). The considerable seasonal differences of total serum carotenoids with the strong minimum in winter (January-March) and graduated growth to maximum in summer-autumn were observed. Since the exclusive supply of the whole group of the carotenoids are the foods (mainly fruit and vegetables), several common foods (potatoes, apples, carrots, green vegetables) as potential sources were analyzed. Except the carrot, the major inland supplies are potatoes and green vegetables, both in raw and boiled form, which contain predominantly lutein. However, apples, one of widely used all the year round fruits, are rather poor source of carotenoids (about 1000 times lower than carrot). With regard to unfavourable ratio of β-carotene/lutein in the serum it will be necessary to enrich conventional diet predominantly for the natural sources rich in β- and α-carotenes. Within inland foods, carrots were the major contributor of those (82.4 mg β-carotene, 30.68 mg α-carotene per 100 g). As additional sources can serve also the above-mentioned green vegetables. In the part of calendar year poor of inland raw fruits (peach, apricot) and vegetables (pepper, tomato) the complementary carotenes supplies will be needed.

Full paper in Portable Document Format: 533a174.pdf


Chemical Papers 53 (3) 174–183 (1999)

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