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Study shows palm carotenoids may help fight childhood obesity

Carotenoid nutrients, derived from Malaysian certified sustainable palm oil, may help curb the childhood obesity epidemic. A recent study showed that taking a daily mixed carotenoid supplement may help modulate adipokines (cell-signaling proteins released by adipose tissue) and belly fat formation in obese children.

In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention trial, 20 children (mean age of 10.5 years) with simple obesity were given either two tablets of mixed carotenoid supplement   (CarotenALL) or placebo daily for six months. The supplement contained 1200 µg (2000 IU) beta-carotene, 500 µg alpha-carotene (EVTene palm mixed-carotene), 10 mg lutein, 2 mg zeaxanthin, 10 mg lycopene, 500 µg astaxanthin and 10 mg gamma-tocopherol per capsule.

Physical examinations such as waist circumference measurement, blood tests (serum carotenoids, total adiponectin, leptin, insulin, triglycerides, high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) and percentage change in visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue were performed in both groups at baseline and after the supplementation period.  

After six months of supplementation, the children taking the mixed carotenoids supplement  demonstrated reduced Body Mass Index z-score, waist to height ratio (WHtR), stable HOMA-2 (homeostatic model assessment of insulin resistance-2), elevated level of beta-carotene, total adiponectin and high-molecular-weight adiponectin as compared to the placebo group. Beta-carotene not only showed unique positive association with total adiponectin at baseline, but also negative association with waist circumference, WHtR, visceral adipose tissue and subcutaneous adipose tissue after adjustment for sex among obese children.

“Adiponectin is a hormone that regulates body metabolic processes, and generally obese people have lower plasma adiponectin than non-obese people. Many studies have found adiponectin to be inversely correlated with body mass index in obese populations,” explained Excelvite nutritionist CheeYen Lau. “This study shows that the mixed-carotene-supplemented obese children have increased level plasma adiponectin. This is definitely interesting as elevated adiponectin is thought to help enhance insulin sensitivity, mitigate inflammatory processes and promote heart-healthy effects. Long-term supplementation of mixed-carotene may help to regulate metabolic health in obese children.”  

Lau added, “EVTene is a true natural mixed-carotene complex extracted from palm fruits with highest level of alpha-carotene. EVTene contains mainly alpha-carotene (33%) and beta-carotene (66%) as well as a small amount of other carotenoids such as lycopene and gamma-carotene. The carotene composition of EVTene is similar to what is found in carrots. It is the only true natural mixed-carotene that can be used in dietary supplements and functional foods for healthy metabolism and weight management.”

Canas, J.A., et.al (2017). Effects of Mixed Carotenoids on Adipokines and Abdominal Adiposity in Children: A Pilot Study. J Clin Endocrinol Metab; 102(5):1-8 doi:10.1210/jc.2017-00185.

SEE ALSO  Carotenoids in Malaysian palm fruit oil may protect the skin against UV damage

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