beta-carotene and alpha-tocopherol in healthy overweight adults; depletion kinetics are correlated with adiposity

Wise JA, Kaats GR, Preuss HG, Morin RJ; Apr. 2009


Serum levels of certain antioxidant nutrients are inversely correlated with BMI.


The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of taking a nutritional product composed primarily of dehydrated juice powder concentrates from mixed fruits and vegetables (FV) on blood levels of two antioxidant nutrients in a mostly overweight population. Furthermore, once supplementation stopped, depletion rates of these antioxidant micronutrients were compared to the individuals’ body mass index (BMI).  


Ninety-two healthy, non-smoking, overweight individuals (24 men and 68 women), with a mean age of 48.8 years and an average BMI of 27.1 ± 4.9, participated in a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study. Participants were divided into 2 groups. For the first 28 days, Group 1 took the encapsulated juice powder concentrate (Juice Plus+®; two capsules per day each of Fruit and Vegetable Blends, in two divided doses, with meals), while Group 2 took the placebo. For the next 28 days, the regimen switched: Group 1 took the placebo, while Group 2 took the FV supplement. Blood samples were collected 7 days before the study’s start and on day 0 to establish baseline values, then again at 14,28, 35, 42, 49, and 56 days for both groups.  


Compared to placebo, volunteers taking the fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate experienced significant increases in both antioxidant micronutrients. When participants discontinued FV, concentrations of alpha-tocopherol dropped back to pre-treatment levels within 2 weeks. Beta-carotene nearly dropped back to pre-treatment levels after 4 weeks wash-out. Beta-carotene levels in individuals with higher BMIs showed a significant lower magnitude of change compared to those people with lower BMIs.  


Supplementation with an encapsulated fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate significantly increased serum levels of β-carotene and α-tocopherol.... For β-carotene, the magnitude of uptake was inversely correlated with BMI and the depletion rate was extended in subjects with the highest BMI and greatest adipose stores.

PubMed link:

View PDF