This post was originally published on December 1, 2016 and updated on June 11, 2020.

A new and interesting cross-sectional study of 2118 women and men, age stratified from 35 to 74 years and recruited from six European countries, was recently published. In this study, the researchers reviewed and examined plasma carotenoids (alpha- and beta-carotene, lutein, zeaxanthin, beta-cryptoxanthin, lycopene, alpha- and gamma-tocopherol, and retinol) and their association with age, demographic characteristics and dietary habits.

The study found that while plasma beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein, zeaxanthin alpha- and gamma-tocopherol and retinol did not decrease with age, other important carotenoids such as alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and lycopene were significantly reduced with age, after adjusting for all other covariates such as cholesterol level, fruits and vegetable consumption, gender, BMI and smoking. Interestingly, for females and non-smokers with higher vitamin supplement, fruit and vegetable consumption, alpha-carotene, alpha-tocopherol and beta-cryptoxanthin levels recovered and demonstrated significantly higher levels in the plasma.

“This is an interesting study and, as a matter of fact, the first study that shows that plasma alpha-carotene level reduces with age in men and women. In addition, this study also demonstrates that higher intake of fruits and vegetables is positively associated with increased concentration of plasma alpha-carotene. Carotenoids complex with alpha-carotene and beta-carotene has been shown in published studies to be beneficial for age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and elongation of telomeres. Therefore, it is very important for everyone, especially elderly people to increase plasma alpha-carotene through dietary supplements or foods with high content of alpha carotene in the body for promoting night vision and cardiovascular health,” says CheeYen Lau, Nutritionist of ExcelVite.

Palm fruit is the richest source for natural mixed-carotene (alpha-carotene and beta-carotene) in nature. Excelvite has been the leader in producing EVTene, natural mixed-carotene complex from palm fruit for the past 23 years. Our EVTene contains mainly alpha-carotene, beta-carotene and a small amount of other carotenoids (such as gamma-carotene, lycopene). In fact, it has the highest concentration of alpha-carotene (approximately 35 percent) compared to other commercial carotenoid sources with negligible levels of alpha-carotene. In addition, the carotenoid composition of EVTene is similar to what is found in carrots, hence it offers not only high level of alpha-carotene, but also other carotenoids that could potentially produce synergistic health effects,” added Lau.

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Stuetz, w., (2016). Plasma Carotenoids, Tocopherols, and Retinol in the Age-Stratified (35-74 Years) General Population: A Cross-Sectional Study in Six European Countries. Nutrients; 8(10).

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