Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: May 22, 2004
Publication Date: January 1, 2005
Citation: Novotny Dura, J. 2005. Mathematical investigations of carotenoid kinetics in humans. Mathematical Modeling in Health and Toxicology. Athens, GA: Mathematical Biology Press. 189-204.
Carotenoids are health-promoting compounds that give many fruits and vegetables their red, orange, and yellow hues. A variety of mathematical techniques have been used to study carotenoid absorption and elimination. The most commonly used mathematical technique is empirical modeling, whereby scientists have calculated area under the plasma concentration time curve after a carotenoid dose to investigate many features of carotenoid bioavailability, including carotenoid interactions, age influences, effects of other dietary components, etc. Progress has also been made with compartmental modeling for beta-carotene and lycopene. Finally, isotope dilution methods and isotope reference methods have been very useful for learning about the vitamin A equivalency of beta-carotene. When considering the body of knowledge as a whole, one realizes that the different carotenoids behave differently in the body, so it is important to study the absorption and elimination of the carotenoids individually rather than as a class of compounds.