Determinants and Suitability of Carotenoid Reflection Score As a Measure of Carotenoid Status
Rush, E; Amoah, I; Diep, T; Jalili-Moghaddam, S
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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.