Changes in plasma carotenoid, alpha-tocopherol, and lipid peroxide levels in response to supplementation with concentrated fruit and vegetable extracts: A pilot study.

Wise JA, Morin RJ, Sanderson R, Blum K; Jun. 1996


Antioxidants have complex, synergistic interactions. Therefore, to reduce disease risk, supplementation that elevates blood levels of multiple antioxidants proportionately may be more effective than supplementation that elicits large increases in one antioxidant alone.


The aim of this study was to determine whether supplementation with fruit and vegetable concentrates (FV) could increase plasma levels of carotenoids and tocopherols, and if so, whether these increases would improve oxidative stress defense mechanisms.


Fifteen healthy American men and women between the ages of 18 and 53 participated in this open-label pilot study. All the volunteers took the fruit and vegetable juice powder concentrate (Juice Plus+®; 2 capsules of the Fruit Blend and 2 capsules of the Vegetable Blend), in addition to their regular diet, for 28 days. Blood samples were collected 7 days prior to taking FV and on days 0, 7, 14, and 28.


At the end of the study, blood levels of various antioxidants had risen in the volunteers compared to baseline values. Participants also showed a decrease in lipid peroxidation, indicating improved antioxidant defense mechanisms.  

Post-supplementation, there was a 5-fold increase in beta-carotene, a 119% increase in alpha-carotene, a 44% increase in lutein/zeaxanthin, a 20-fold increase in lycopene, and a 58% increase in alpha tocopherol. The researchers noted their findings contrasted with those of studies solely administering beta-carotene supplements, which predictably increased levels of beta carotene, but sometimes decreased levels of lycopene and lutein. They also observed that the supplemented carotenoids appeared to be more readily absorbed than carotenoids from foods.


“This study indicates that supplementation with fruit and vegetable extracts is an effective means to elevate plasma levels of the major carotenoids and alpha-tocopherol while reducing deleterious oxidative processes.”

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