Absorption profile of (poly)phenolic compounds after consumption of three food supplements containing 36 different fruits, vegetables, and berries

Bresciani L, Martini D, Mena P, Tassotti M, Calani L, Brigati G, Brighenti F, Holasek S, Malliga DE, Lamprecht M, Del Rio D; Feb. 2017


Carotenoids and certain vitamins found in fruits and vegetables exert antioxidant effects and have cardiovascular, immune, anti-inflammatory, and other health benefits. However, multiple studies show that on average, consumption of these foods falls well below recommendations.


The aim of this study was to assess the bioavailability of a whole food based encapsulated fruit, vegetable and berry juice powder concentrate (FVB) by determining a possible increase in circulating carotenoids, as well as levels of vitamins A, C, and E, in healthy volunteers.  


Participants consisted of 18 healthy, non-smoking men and women, between the ages of 20 and 50, who habitually ate fewer than 4 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. The single-arm, open-label study started with a 4-week wash-out period. After an overnight fast, baseline blood samples were taken from the volunteers, who then took 6 capsules of FVB (Juice Plus+®), 2 capsules each of the Fruit, Vegetable, and Berry Blends, half in the morning and half in the evening every day for 8 weeks. They were instructed to follow their normal diet for the entire study period. Blood samples were taken again at the end of the study, and volunteers’ carotenoid and vitamin levels were compared to those at baseline.


There were significant increases in the following carotenoids: alpha-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, and lycopene. There was a non-significant increase in beta-carotene, and a non-significant decrease in lutein and zeaxanthin. All the vitamins measured (vitamin A as all-trans retinol, vitamin C, and vitamin E as alpha-tocopherol) also increased significantly.


Our study demonstrates that an 8-week supplementation with an encapsulated FVB juice powder concentrate, is able to increase almost all investigated carotenoid and vitamin concentrations (except lutein/zeaxanthin) in plasma of well-nourished, healthy subjects, with an intake of fruits and vegetables below recommendations.

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